Friday 24 November 2017

Cian Healy: England is not 'just another game'

Ireland's Cian Healy is eager to return to the Ireland starting team for the upcoming Six Nations fixture with England.
Ireland's Cian Healy is eager to return to the Ireland starting team for the upcoming Six Nations fixture with England.
Declan Whooley

Declan Whooley

Ireland prop Cian Healy says he is raring to start against England on Sunday and has his eyes firmly set on Dan Cole.

The Leinster frontrower was named on the bench against France last time out after being sidelined with hamstring injury and is hoping that he has done enough in training to convince Joe Schmidt of a starting spot for the crunch encounter.

Jack McGrath has filled in more than adequately in his absence and it is one of the closest calls in Schmidt's selection ahead of the team announcement on Friday.

Healy is concentrating on the fixture as if he is in the team and should he get the nod is likely to be up against a familiar foe.

Tighthead Dan Cole has been the rock of what is a highly impressive English pack and Healy is under no illusions to the task at hand and is looking no further than the Leicester scrummaging machine.

"The only one I would look at would be Dan Cole and I've been at him since underage level," he said at Carton House today.

"His improvements and how much better he has got over the years and become a cornerstone of their pack, so he would be the only one I would really take note of. You look at them (other players) but I wouldn't be ticking them off as anything hugely influential to go against me."

After spending so much time watching from the sidelines, the fearsome prop is itching to get a run from the start.

"I always want to start and that's why you play rugby to start. But it's going to be tough to budge Jack, he's been in there for the slog of it and he's done a really good job."

"It's one of those things you would play down yourself (England rivalry) and say it's another game and stuff, but out on the field you will notice the heat of battle."

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