Simon Easterby: Ireland won't be derailed by distractions

Simon Easterby: Ireland won't be derailed by distractions

Ireland will steel themselves to shut out all distractions when they host England in today's RBS 6 Nations finale.

From the desire to spoil England's Grand Slam and world-record party, to chasing second place in the world rankings, the Aviva Stadium encounter is dripping with motivation for the hosts.

England can land a second successive Grand Slam for the first time since 1992 and also seal a 19th straight win, while victory for the hosts would boost Ireland's 2019 World Cup pool draw prospects.

But just as captain Rory Best insisted Ireland must chase a good 80-minute performance over denying England an historic win, forwards coach Simon Easterby demanded his side ignore any outside interests.

"It's tight, it's an old adage, when you think about getting the performance right you must only think about those other things that are inside our control," he said.

"If we win the game, then we secure that spot (second in the world rankings), but certainly thinking about it will derail a bit of that focus and it's important we don't get distracted by that.

"Our focus all week, after the result in Wales, it's certainly about improving areas we didn't get right, and also backing up things we did do well.

"If we get distracted by what's going on outside of that it'll take away from our performance."

Ireland will be aiming to stay inside the top-four world-ranking berths after this weekend, in order to remain in the first pot ahead of the World Cup pool draw in May.

Wales could still sneak into the top four with a win over France in Paris on the Six Nations' final weekend, while England would stay second in the world with an historic win over the Irish.

Ireland face an uphill struggle without the injured, stellar scrum-half Conor Murray, with Kieran Marmion primed for his first Six Nations start.

Simon Easterby: Ireland won't be derailed by distractions

Captain Best insisted the Connacht half-back is ready for the challenge.

"It is a massive day for him," said Best of Marmion.

"You just have to look at the way he's performing, not just last season, but this season for Connacht - this is something he deserves.

"He is very unlucky he is behind a real world-class nine.

"It is his day. We always talk that you get your opportunity along the line through someone else's misfortune. Well, his opportunity has come now."

More on this topic

France's Yoann Maestri faces misconduct complaint after chaotic end to Six Nations clash with WalesFrance's Yoann Maestri faces misconduct complaint after chaotic end to Six Nations clash with Wales

Stuart Hogg wins Six Nations Player of the Championship for second year runningStuart Hogg wins Six Nations Player of the Championship for second year running

Rankings show Conor Murray in major battle with Rhys Webb for Lions scrum-half placeRankings show Conor Murray in major battle with Rhys Webb for Lions scrum-half place

There are two Irish players shortlisted for the Six Nations player of the championshipThere are two Irish players shortlisted for the Six Nations player of the championship

More in this Section

Football rumours from the mediaFootball rumours from the media

Day one of the US Open: Defending champion Djokovic and Federer in actionDay one of the US Open: Defending champion Djokovic and Federer in action

Guardiola: Manchester City face amazing challenge to retain Premier League titleGuardiola: Manchester City face amazing challenge to retain Premier League title

Rory McIlroy claims FedEx Cup jackpot by winning revamped Tour ChampionshipRory McIlroy claims FedEx Cup jackpot by winning revamped Tour Championship


Lifestyle

In August 1969, headlines were dominated by Northern Ireland and the beginnings of what was to become known as “the Troubles”.August 26, 2019: A look back at what happened on this day in years gone by

Hundreds of grey seals, the ‘people of the sea’, haul out on Great Blasket’s Trá Bán.Blasket Island seals have cousins in Namibia

More From The Irish Examiner