Schmidt will be more than happy with 3-0 win at Twickenham

Schmidt will be more than happy with 3-0 win at Twickenham

By Ciarán Ó Raghallaigh

Joe Schmidt says he will be more than satisfied with a 3-0 win at Twickenham tomorrow if it means Ireland seal an historic grand slam.

The Ireland head coach made just one change to the side that beat Scotland last weekend to win the title, with Iain Henderson starting in the second row and Devin Toner moving to the bench.

While Eddie Jones has made seven personnel changes to his side, and three positional switches, Schmidt has maintained faith in the team that ground out victory over Gregor Townsend's men in Dublin.

It has been branded dull and boring by some, but Schmidt could not care less.

“I don't think any of the team would care if it was 3-0, I don't think we would be uninspired by a 3-0 victory,” he said.

We know what's at stake, it's a fantastic opportunity to not just achieve a grand slam, but to go a year unbeaten.

Victory would mean a 12th straight win for Ireland, a run that began against the same opposition 12 months ago in Dublin.

Jones vowed revenge on the 'scummy' Irish in a video that appeared online yesterday, but Schmidt shrugged off the controversial comments, insisting that they mean nothing to his men ahead of Saturday's game.

“I am not exactly sure what they were, I know there is a little bit of noise about them,” he said. “They are not directly relevant to us to be honest. I don’t know what the specifics of them; those words don’t impact on how we play or how his team play and that’s our focus.

“It’s probably at the stage of being boring which we don’t want to be described as but the bubble that does surround us out here, it does mean that we can focus on the task in hand and not what someone is saying about is.

“Our focus is on this week and the performance, we have treated this week as much as we can the way we have done every other.

We haven't spoken about how we might feel afterward or what it means – you almost don't dare to dream what it might mean at the end of things.

Peter O'Mahony said the game is being treated as all four previous Six Nations games, but admitted the English will have plenty of reason to be up for the game, despite being out of the running for the championship.

“We were in their position before, it's an easy place to get motivated from,” he said. “They'll come hard at us so we know how tough it's going to be. It's going to have to be our best performance of the tournament so far.”

More on this topic

John Feehan steps down as chief executive of Six Nations and B&I Lions John Feehan steps down as chief executive of Six Nations and B&I Lions

Record-breaking Jacob Stockdale named Six Nations Player of the ChampionshipRecord-breaking Jacob Stockdale named Six Nations Player of the Championship

Sexton credits Ireland's central contracts for helping give them an edge on EnglandSexton credits Ireland's central contracts for helping give them an edge on England

More than 1.3 million TV3 viewers tuned in to see Ireland win the Grand SlamMore than 1.3 million TV3 viewers tuned in to see Ireland win the Grand Slam

More in this Section

Is there a dawn to follow the darkest moment?Is there a dawn to follow the darkest moment?

A victory for bravery, a defeat reeking of stagnationA victory for bravery, a defeat reeking of stagnation

Emery believes Arsenal can achieve something important this seasonEmery believes Arsenal can achieve something important this season

Real Sociedad return to winning ways to go fourth in LaLigaReal Sociedad return to winning ways to go fourth in LaLiga


Lifestyle

John’s chairs will last a lifetime, but he is also passing on his knowledge to a new generation, writes Ellie O’Byrne.Made in Munster: The ancient art of súgán-making is woven into Irish family history

More From The Irish Examiner