Unofficial England Rugby Union
EnglandTeam to face Ireland 6Nations 2017 Decider
By England Fan
March 16 2017

Well this is it, the decider of the Triple Crown + Back to Back 6 Nations Grand Slam, England if they can do, it will go down in the history books!  Ireland on the other hand will no doubt be trying to conjure up some ‘Leprechaun Wizardry’ to prevent this happening.


RBS Six Nations 2017

Ireland v England

 Aviva Stadium, Dublin  Saturday 18 March  kick-off 5pm- live on ITV

England’s head coach Eddie Jones has made two changes for this year's final six nations match.  Billy Vunipola starts in place of Nathan Hughes and Anthony Watson starts in place of Jack Nowell.    Good to see Elliot Daly back in the team having taken a bad knock against Scotland last Saturday.


    England's Elliot Daly during the training session at Pennyhill Park,- Pictures PA/images

Now then are you nervous at all?  

I am, here are some Stat., facts for you.  

Once you have read these you can't tell me you don't feel the nerves.

  • Ireland’s only defeat in their last seven matches at Aviva Stadium was to New Zealand in November.
  • Ireland have not been beaten in Dublin in the RBS 6 Nations since England visited in 2013.
  • The Irishmen have been victorious in their round 5 encounter for the past three seasons. 
  • England are bidding to become the first team to win successive RBS 6 Nations Grand Slams – the last side to achieve it in the old Five Nations was France in 1997 & 1998.
  • A win for England would see them overtake New Zealand’s record of 18 successive tier one test victories, set between 2015-16.
  • England have won their round 5 encounter for the past three seasons.
  • This is England’s 22nd opportunity to win a Grand Slam, having previously been successful on 13 of those occasions. Three of those matches were played in Dublin, winning in 2003 (when Ireland also had the chance of a Grand Slam) but losing 2001 and 2011.
  • England’s only defeat in their last seven fixtures with Ireland was 9-19 on their most recent visit to Aviva Stadium two years ago

Eddie seems confident though......"We've had a really good week's preparation,” said England head coach Jones.  "The intensity of training has been good. It's going to be quite an occasion in Dublin so we understand we have to be prepared emotionally, physically and mentally.  "The mood in camp has been positive. We're very excited ahead of what is a huge opportunity for the players. You sense the intensity has stepped up; it has in training, definitely.

"The message to the players has been quite simple, we're playing Ireland on Saturday and that is the only thing that counts. We are focusing on preparing well, the only thing we can control is our preparation.  "Ireland not having anything to play for means they have the courage to fail which frees them up mentally, we are a little bit vulnerable because we have already been crowned the RBS 6 Nations champions and we had a big win against Scotland, so for us it's getting the right mind-set for the game.

Englands Tom Wood during a training session at Pennyhill Park, Bagshot.

 Tom Wood will win his 50th cap for England having made his debut against Wales at the Millennium Stadium in 2011. 
"I congratulate Tom Wood on his personal milestone. He is a committed team man, who has fought his way back into this set-up and has been a great contributor to the team on and off the field. He works very hard and it's a great reward for him.” said England head coach Jones.

England: M Brown; A Watson, J Joseph, O Farrell, E Daly; G Ford, B Youngs; J Marler, D Hartley (Captain), D Cole, J Launchbury, C Lawes, M Itoje, J Haskell, B Vunipola.   Replacements: J George, M Vunipola, K Sinckler, T Wood, N Hughes, D Care, B Te’o, J Nowell. on horse

IRELAND: J Payne; K Earls, G Ringrose, R Henshaw, S Zebo; J Sexton, K Marmion; J McGrath, R Best (capt), T Furlong; D Ryan, I Henderson; CJ Stander, S O’Brien, J Heaslip.  Replacements: N Scannell, C Healy, J Ryan, D Toner, P O’Mahony, L McGrath, P Jackson, A Conway.

Referee: Jerome Garces (FFR, 10th RBS 6 Nations game)

Assistants: Mathieu Raynal (FFR), Marius Mitrea (FIR)

TMO: Ben Skeen (NZRU)