Neil Francis: I would kill somebody for a Six Nations Championship
There has been some talk this week that a Six Nations title for Ireland would be somewhat dulled after letting the Grand Slam slip against Wales last weekend.
But former Ireland star Neil Francis has rubbished those claims and insists he "would kill for a Championship".
Ireland will need to run up a big score against Scotland today to retain the Championship after Wales hammered Italy in Rome.
"The expectations from people are just...you talk to the public and they think 'ah sure it is only a Championship'. I'd kill somebody for a Championship," said Francis.
"The expectation now is 'oh well we will beat the Scots. There is no guarantee of that. I am certain that he (Joe Schmidt) wanted the Grand Slam and will be very disappointed because his team underperformed."
Fellow Irish Independent columnist Tony Ward admits last weekend's defeat against Wales has left him feeling deflated.
"I just feel like a little bit of the balloon was deflated at the weekend. We were really on target for that Grand Slam, it's a huge incentive. I know from talking to people and the number of families who had organised for this weekend, quite a lot are not going now.
"That's why I think it's a huge game. It's a huge game for Joe, it's a huge game for Irish rugby and it's a huge game for this squad because we have to bounce back with a win. That is absolutely vital. Lose this game and then to go forward to the World Cup is not going to be easy so I think this is a massive game."