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Dan Cole's absence could make all the difference - Independent.ie Six Nations Rugby Panel

Host Declan Whooley is joined by Ruaidhri O’Connor and Tony Ward to discuss Ireland’s chances of a Triple Crown at Twickenham this weekend.

After wins over Scotland and Wales, Joe Schmidt will face his biggest challenge yet, not to mind his first fixture away from Dublin, when his Irish charges travel to face a team really growing under Stuart Lancaster.

In 2012, the Irish scrum was dismantled, but Tony ward feels that the loss of Dan Cole through injury could have a significant impact.

“I really like Dan Cole as a player and that could swing the favour in our balance,” he said.

“He might not be the best ball carrier, but he is a technically gifted player.”

Ruaidhri is cautiously predicting a narrow away win, with an eagerness to win silverware a chief motivating factor.

"Johnny Sexton spoke about it during the week that he has never won anything with Ireland," he said.

"There is a new cohort of players in the post 'Golden Generation' who have yet to win any silverware in a green jersey."

Online Editors