Wednesday 13 December 2017

Key moment in this Ireland team's lifespan

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt during Ireland rugby squad training at Carton House in Maynooth, Co Kildare. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt during Ireland rugby squad training at Carton House in Maynooth, Co Kildare. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

David Wallace

After an amazing autumn series, beating the All Blacks and Australia, and having defeated South Africa over there for the first time in Ireland's history, it's amazing to see where Joe Schmidt's side stand right now, writes David Wallace.

Ireland have lost two games in the Six Nations against Scotland and Wales, the ones you might have expected them to win before the Championship, and their backs are against the wall going into tomorrow's game against England.

It's a bit of a watershed moment for this Ireland team. The highs of November, and the trip to South Africa, are a long way away now. But they have the talent to beat England and end their brilliant run of results.

And on top of that, individually there are British & Irish Lions places up for grabs at the end of the day. If Irish players can win their one-on-one battles, they will be to the forefront of Warren Gatland's thoughts, and that's a massive incentive.

But Ireland won't need any extra motivation when they see a confident English side coming to Dublin and looking to sweep them aside, one week on from their battering of Scotland.

Going forward, this is a hugely important game. It's going to be another massive occasion, but it's a pity that the Championship has already been decided.

Irish Independent

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