Saturday, 16 February, 2019

England’s Maro Itoje could be out for four weeks with knee injury

Rory Best Rory Best succeeded Paul O'Connell as Ireland captain after the 2015 World Cup
Rita Gibson | 09 February, 2019, 03:58

Japan know they face a hard task to progress from their pool when they host the Rugby World Cup later this year, but England's stunning win over Ireland on Saturday has shown the Brave Blossoms that their toughest foes are fallible. "I absolutely hate it", Ward said on the BBC Sport website.

"I suppose in the warm-up, if you look at our back line, we are a bunch of quiet lads anyway".

"It doesn't feel like that now because it's a loss and any loss is tough to take".

"I have big confidence in this group though, I really do".

With Tuilagi offering power on the crash ball, Mako and Billy Vunipola restored to the scrum, hard-working flankers Tom Curry and Mark Wilson scavenging around the rucks and the bulk of Courtney Lawes and Nathan Hughes coming off the bench, England's game-plan was obvious.

"You'll always miss a player of his calibre, you'll take some strength out of your team, but we have very good and experienced players to come in".

"The players will drive it as much as Joe and the coaching staff", said Murray.

Record US meth haul intercepted by Australian authorities
Three of those arrested in Australia will appear at Melbourne Magistrates Court later on Friday. This is now flagging intent Australia is now being targeted.

Schmidt, whose decision to play centre Robbie Henshaw out of position at fullback instead of the fit again but ring-rusty Rob Kearney did not pay off, said his players needed to change their attitude to how they approached the England game.

"Everyone thinks we were poor but some of our decision-making by individuals probably let ourselves down but we actually didn't play that badly", Earls added.

"We've got to dust ourselves down, not feel sorry for ourselves".

"We couldn't assume we could rock up and just deliver a performance that they would accept".

"While we do it well, I think we're overplaying it".

Here on SunSport we'll be running a LIVE BLOG from Dublin which will keep you up to date with all the drama.

Some have wondered if Ireland, who have never before got past the World Cup quarterfinals, had peaked too soon, while others have questioned if they can cope with the pressure of the huge expectation they find themselves under. "I am a fully signed-up member of the low-key, respectful Schmidt approach every time and I qualify that by saying that what goes on behind closed doors at in-house meetings is very different to that dished out at PR-perfect press conferences for public consumption".

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