England Preparation For Ireland Clash Assured With Eddie Jones, Says Courtney Lawes

England Preparation For Ireland Clash Assured With Eddie Jones, Says Courtney Lawes

England Preparation For Ireland Clash Assured With Eddie Jones, Says Courtney Lawes

Setting a tier one record of 19 straight wins was also within England's grasp. It's been a long time waiting for them and they will be keen to put this right on Friday night.

Scotland and Wales bedamned; it's all about stopping a second consecutive English Grand Slam - and a world record unbeaten run - at the Aviva Stadium this Saturday. They're also hosting the Women's Rugby World Cup in the summer, so there is an added weight on their shoulders to do well.

"There are more conversations that can be had and the players can be more involved in that", he said.

Scrum coach Greg Feek admitted earlier this week that Ireland's players were aware England had the chance to trump New Zealand's record at the end of the autumn series. So England and Wales announce they're going home and cause Scotland and Northern Ireland are housemates with them they've got to go too. They had hooker Fraser Brown sin-binned in the second minute and lost their talisman full-back Stuart Hogg through injury shortly afterwards, quickly followed by replacement Mark Bennett.

"But it is very hard to know how close England are to the All Blacks because they are not playing each other". Their back row is enormous and in Claire Molloy they have a very strong number seven.

Should he enter the fray in Dublin, the 30-year-old - who made his debut against Wales in February 2011 - will become the third England player to make it a half-century of appearances for his country during this campaign. And to beat a Scotland side that's been playing well, they should be proud of that.

But the truth is that England are a side that Ireland are now aspiring to be more like.

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The increasingly accomplished tighthead conceded, however, that Jones' England have already reached the same rarefied level as the mighty All Blacks.

"The World Cup is only around the corner and competition for places is fierce".

"I suppose I thought last week was pretty good", said Feek. "Next week is about the grand slam and we are going to focus very closely on that".

"You need to be winning either against big teams or winning consistently to be up in that ranking". There's a perception that this year has been better and it probably has been, but you've still got to win and to win it you've got to stay undefeated.

Centre Robbie Henshaw, who had a fine game, unfortunately crossed in front of Rory Best just as Ireland's captain dived to score. "You hold that title for 12 months until it all starts again, so it really is something you cherish".

"I think in the last three or four years we've brought ourselves into a position to be in the top five in the world, and that speaks for itself". It's an opportunity to continue to grow your self-belief.

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