England braced for Irish onslaught

Sat, 09 Feb 2013 16:16
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England captain Chris Robshaw has insisted his side won't be caught unawares by Ireland when they try to end a decade of Six Nations defeats in Dublin on Sunday.

England captain Chris Robshaw has insisted his side won't make the mistake of being caught unawares by Ireland when they try to end a decade of Six Nations defeats in Dublin on Sunday.

Two years ago England, who haven't enjoyed Championship success in the Irish capital since their Grand Slam and World Cup-winning year of 2003, arrived at Lansdowne Road eyeing a clean sweep of their Six Nations rivals.

But Ireland, roared on by a typically passionate home crowd, stormed into a 14-0 lead before the half-hour mark and went on to win 24-8.

Robshaw didn't play in that fixture and, in common with several England colleagues, Sunday's match will be his first international in Dublin.

But the 26-year-old back row insisted he knew what was coming his way in a clash where England and Ireland will defend unbeaten tournament records after first-round wins over Scotland and champions Wales respectively.

"We know the passion there is going to be and the intensity Irish sides bring," Robshaw said at England's Dublin hotel on Saturday.

"We are under no illusions exactly how hard and how intense it is going to be," added the Harlequins skipper, who will be winning just his 14th England cap this weekend.

Robshaw said England had tried to prepare for a frenzied Irish start.

"As a squad, we have had spikes of intensity. It hasn't been 90 minutes of full-on craziness, it has been short and sharp and at the right times and a productive week."

Robshaw heads into the match with plaudits from British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland ringing in his ears.

Just a few months ago the New Zealander insisted he would only consider specialist openside flanks for this year's three-Test tour of Australia by the combined side, with the clear implication England No.7 Robshaw was not that type of player.

However, a few days later Robshaw led England to a stunning win over world champions New Zealand at Twickenham and an admiring Gatland said on Friday the Harlequins skipper had "reinvented" himself.

"Has my game changed much? I'm not sure but as a player you never want to stand still," Robshaw said Saturday. "You want to keep evolving.

"If there is something you can't do, you want to address it. I am in a good place in a good team, with a great set of coaches and players around me."

AFP

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
England 5 4 0 1 19
Ireland 5 3 0 2 14
France 5 3 0 2 14
Scotland 5 3 0 2 14
Wales 5 2 0 3 10
Italy 5 0 0 5 0