Saturday 15 December 2018

'We all like to find faults in them but sometimes you have to say fair play to them' - Ronan O'Gara on 'serious' England side

 

Ronan O'Gara and (inset) Eddie Jones and Joe Schmidt
Ronan O'Gara and (inset) Eddie Jones and Joe Schmidt
England head coach Eddie Jones, left, along with Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt
Ronan O'Gara. Photo: David Conachy
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ronan O'Gara believes this year's Six Nations is a two-horse race between Ireland and England.

Dismissing France as a "mess", the legendary former out-half has stated his belief that the tournament will boil down to the battle between the two teams who have won the last four instalments of the Championship between them.

Ireland won't face England until their final-day clash at Twickenham on St Patrick's Day and if O'Gara is correct it will be a high-stakes affair.

"For me, it's between Ireland and England. England are a serious side, we all like to find faults in them but sometimes you have to say fair play to them," O'Gara told ESPNscrum.com.

"The great thing about Ireland is that they're consistently performing under Joe Schmidt.

He's an excellent coach, the whole of Ireland are very happy with him, very proud of him, and he has the players playing for him."

Ireland open their campaign in Paris tomorrow week and the former Racing 92 coach is expecting an away win.

"I think the French are in a mess," he said at a Crusaders press conference.

"I would be disappointed (with a loss). It is an intimidating ground, it is the first game, the French are a team where bizarrely they can find confidence from the game itself as opposed to what's happened before the game, but for me all roads point to an Irish victory."

Meanwhile, Wales have been dealt a fresh blow ahead of the tournament after Rhys Webb was ruled out with injury.

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