Itoje Ruled Out Of England's 6-Nations Rugby Team

Ireland's 2018 was magic but can they begin a World Cup year with another storming Six Nations performance

Ireland's 2018 was magic but can they begin a World Cup year with another storming Six Nations performance

Even for us, the last time we went to Murrayfield, we didn't get off the bus and we were 21-5 down at half-time.

Rugby coverage on Pundit Arena during the Six Nations is in association with Vodafone, the official sponsor of the Irish Rugby Team.

While Japan may not quite have the brute physical presence to bully Ireland the way England did, this match showed that if they get in the faces of their more illustrious opponents, they may reap dividends.

Wales started the weekend 1.02 points and one place ahead of England in the rankings but with only three-tenths of a point on offer for their victory over the lower-ranked French, and England profiting to the tune of 1.8 points, they have now slipped below Eddie Jones' men. "When you have the likes of Manu in midfield you just want to get the ball into his hands and skip out the middle man", explained George. "It's not too dissimilar to the All Blacks here a couple of years ago when we got beaten up and we got beaten up again", he said.

Of course you need artistry to go alongside the brutality and with Ben Youngs and Owen Farrell conducting traffic and Jonny May and Henry Slade clinical around the try-line, England had it in abundance.

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"These games have got nothing to do with the World Cup", Jones said.

"I never use the status of being underdogs, it's never been one of the tricks of the trade because we never think we're not better than the opposition".

"There are a lot of guys hurting at the moment and they will be looking for a way back in and I think the only was back in is to roll our sleeves up, show that resilience mentally that we are going to be have to be able demonstrate next Saturday".

"They put in some really good hits and they seemed a bit more pumped than we were". "We are nowhere near our best". "It's a challenge to all our confidence".

The 32-20 defeat was a chastening experience for Ireland, who have risen from eighth to second in the world rankings since Schmidt took over in 2013, recording two memorable wins over the No.1 ranked New Zealand along the way.

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