Friday 15 December 2017

Title is on the line - Robshaw

Robshaw: 'I think both sides know what this game means'
Robshaw: 'I think both sides know what this game means'
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

England captain Chris Robshaw says his side have no doubt what's at stake at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday as Ireland put their Six Nations title on the line.

Both Joe Schmidt and Stuart Lancaster are expected to stick with the formula that has produced two wins each when they name their teams today for what is likely to be a Championship decider in Dublin.

The Ireland coach is expected to make just one change to his team with Jordi Murphy replacing Jamie Heaslip, although he looks set to shake up his bench with Eoin Reddan to replace Isaac Boss and Luke Fitzgerald pushing hard to dislodge Felix Jones from the No 23 shirt.

England supremo Lancaster is likely to make two changes to his team, with the back-three in line for an overhaul as injured full-back Mike Brown is replaced by Alex Goode and Jack Nowell coming in for the dropped Jonny May on the wing.

"I think both sides know what this game means," Robshaw said.

"Both sides are fully aware there's two unbeaten sides going into it and so if you come out on top, you put yourself in a very good position. So that's exactly what we've got to do. We had a good training week last week.

"Guys are fresh from not having played a game last weekend. It's allowed the body to recover, and I think the mind as well. Guys have been able to have a weekend off and just relax and then come back in this week and get straight back up to speed and probably be further along the line than we were last week."

England have yet to win a trophy under coach Stuart Lancaster and his captain Robshaw and, with their home World Cup looming large later this year, they are under pressure to deliver.

"Silverware matters to everyone. As a player, you want to be judged on what you've won," the Harlequins flanker said.

"It's all well and good picking up caps and playing X amount of times for your country, which is incredible, but you want to win stuff.

"You want to win stuff for your country and be top of the pile come the end. No matter what it is, no matter what competition you're playing, you always want to be seen as successful."

Schmidt names his team at 2.0 this afternoon, while Lancaster reveals his plans at 9.30 this morning.

Ireland (Possible team v England) - R Kearney; T Bowe, J Payne, R Henshaw, S Zebo; J Sexton, C Murray; J McGrath, R Best, M Ross; D Toner, P O'Connell (capt); P O'Mahony, S O'Brien, J Murphy. Reps: S Cronin, C Healy, M Moore, I Henderson, T O'Donnell, E Reddan, I Madigan, L Fitzgerald.

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