Ireland ‘most complete side’ in Six Nations

Stuart Lancaster labelled Ireland the “most complete side” in the Six Nations’ most complete side ahead of their visit to Twickenham on Saturday week.

Joe Schmidt’s men have swept aside Scotland and Wales to retain hope of completing the Grand Slam, with France the tournament’s only other unbeaten team. Lancaster admires an experienced starting XV packed full of Lions that he believes is well coached.

“Ireland are becoming the most complete the side, definitely, because they’ve clearly improved in their forward play,” England’s head coach said.

“John Plumtree is their new forwards and defence coach and you can see the improvements they’ve made in that area. Their mauling game, as we saw against Wales, was excellent, so technically they’re very good.

“They’re very good at the breakdown, which is another element of Plumtree’s role. And Joe Schmidt is a very good head coach who understands the different strategies needed to win games.”

Lancaster also confirmed wing Marland Yarde, centre Manu Tuilagi and full-back Ben Foden were close to making returns for their clubs after lengthy spells in the treatment room.


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