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Ireland won't care how they go about win, insists Easterby

Forwards coach shrugs off England's 'boring' jibe as Tuilagi looks set to start Aviva opener

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Ireland's forwards coach Simon Easterby poses for a portrait following a press conference at Carton House in Maynooth, Co Kildare. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Ireland's forwards coach Simon Easterby poses for a portrait following a press conference at Carton House in Maynooth, Co Kildare. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Ireland's forwards coach Simon Easterby poses for a portrait following a press conference at Carton House in Maynooth, Co Kildare. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Ireland forwards coach Simon Easterby yesterday laughed off the "boring" barbs from England coach John Mitchell as he said the Six Nations champions don't particularly mind how they win as long as they get the job done.

Former All Blacks supremo and Ireland assistant Mitchell caused a stir on Monday when he predicted Joe Schmidt's side will "try to bore the s*** out of us" in Saturday's tournament opener at the Aviva Stadium.

That's despite Ireland's unprecedented success in 2018, a year in which they scored 43 tries in 12 matches en route to their Grand Slam, the series win in Australia and victory over New Zealand.

"I think we know we've got to play a certain way. I think the game will be physical and we know we've got to set a foundation, a platform. Similarly, I'm sure they'll be saying the same thing," Easterby said.

"Some of these games will come down to fine margins. Little things will happen in a game which will contribute to the right result or a loss.

"Certainly the more positive moments we can build up in a game the more chance of us winning it. It's not so much about how we win, it's more about us getting a performance we feel is good enough to get a result against a very good team."

Meanwhile, Manu Tuilagi is set to start his first Six Nations game in six seasons after Ben Te'o was ruled out of Saturday's game with injury.

Back-row Brad Shields and winger Joe Cokanasiga are also out as Eddie Jones slimmed his squad down to 25, with Dan Cole, Ben Moon and Jonathan Joseph sent back to their clubs.

Easterby reported all 38 Ireland squad members trained yesterday.

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Irish Independent


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