DONAL LENIHAN: Ryan v Itoje: The beginning of an enthralling rivalry

Tactical analysis: Three fascinating head-to-heads that will shape the narrative at the Aviva Stadium

James Ryan (Ireland) v Maro Itoje (England)

As always in tight games, the set-piece foundation laid by the respective front fives will be crucial to deciding who eventually comes out on top.

If a Lions test side was being selected today, a second-row combination of James Ryan and Maro Itoje would automatically elevate the tourists into the realm of favourites, regardless of the opposition. They are that good.

Sign in or register for FREE to continue enjoying and to comment on our great range of opinion writers

Not a member yet? Register here

More in this Section

Wales hope Halfpenny and Biggar will be fit to face England

Aaron Gillane to miss Limerick's clash with Cork over Fitzgibbon Cup

Sean O'Brien not giving up on Ireland after London switch

Stoke City footballer Berahino charged with drink-driving

More by this author

France have collapsed into a shambolic, disorganised rabble

Ireland shaken and stirred but still standing

Scrum must force Scotland into making difficult decisions

Out-thought and out-fought: Next time Ireland must be ready for the perfect storm


5 of the best wellbeing podcasts to give you a boost

Ask a counsellor: ‘Will I ever get over being raped as a teenager?’

8 things gardeners can do to help alleviate the insect crisis

All the backstage tips for getting the edgy hairstyle from Richard Quinn’s catwalk

More From The Irish Examiner