England slam at U20 looks like it can't be stopped Women face hell of an ask at Ashbourne
Ireland v England, live tonight rte2 (ko 7.45)
The monster England machine has racked up four decisive, at times humiliating, wins to date, Wales coming closest to clipping their wings (26-20) at Parc Y Scarlets on day one.
Unsurprisingly, Ireland have shown glimpses of what they can do, most notably against Wales back at Parc Y Scarlets last Friday. They came within the width of an upright, from Paddy Jackson's conversion, of winning a game in which they were by far the better side.
They were simple mistakes that cost them dear. But coach Mike Ruddock is having an impact in that Ireland can puncture defences with a swift backline fronted by an increasingly able forward eight, anchored by the excellent scrummaging of Leinster tight-head Martin Moore,
They will, however, be without the services of the likes of Leinster's Andrew Conway and Brendan Macken, amongst others.
Ireland: M Sherlock; T O'Halloran, A Kelly, JJ Hanrahan, A Boyle; C Marsh, B McIlroy; J Tracy, D Doyle, M Moore, M Kearney, D Qualter, S Buckley, A Conneely, J Murphy (capt).
England: B Ransom; A Short, E Daly, R Mills, J Joseph; G Ford, C Cook; M Vunipola, M Haywood, H Thomas, J Launchbury, C Matthews, M Kvesic, M Everard, A Grey (capt).
Women face hell of an ask at Ashbourne
Ireland v England, Ashbourne RFC, tonight 7.30
The England juggernaut rolled 15 tries over Scotland as a mark of their total domination in this competition. They are powerful, united and hugely confident.
There has been bad blood between these two sides in recent years, the Irish not impressed with the perceived arrogance of England. What's new? Phillip Doyle's side came within a whisker (15-14) of scalping Wales in Cross Keys last Sunday. Prop Ailis Egan, lock Heather O'Brien and scrum-half Larissa Muldoon will start.
Ashbourne's tight pitch will certainly assist Ireland in keeping the English under wraps. They are not without hope. But, the odds and history favour the visitors.
Ireland: N Briggs; N Kavanagh, L Cantwell, G Rea, M Kelly; N Stapleton, L Muldoon; F Coghlan (capt), G Bourke, A Egan, H O'Brien, ML Reilly, L Guest, C Molloy, J Neville.
England: E Scarratt; K Merchant, R Burford, K Oliver, F Matthews; K McLean (capt), L Mason; R Clarke, E Croker, S Hemming, R Essex, J McGilchrist, H Fisher, M Alphonsi, S Hunter.