Ireland pose the toughest of tests, says England fly-half Toby Flood


England are in Dublin this weekend to face Ireland in what many are already seeing as a potential Grand Slam decider.


OWEN Farrell believes England’s opening Six Nations victory over Scotland proves they have moved on from the euphoria of their autumn success over world champions New Zealand.
England are in Dublin this weekend to face Ireland in what many are already seeing as a potential Grand Slam decider, after the Irish won in Wales last week, and France were shocked by Italy.
The Red Rose were named as favourites for the title prior to last week’s 38-18 win over Scotland at Twickenham, largely owing to their shock success over the All Blacks at the start of December.
Farrell kicked 18 points and supplied an assist for Geoff Parling’s first international try against the Scots. And the Saracens fly-half is convinced the win illustrated England have improved yet further from their fine end to 2012.

“I think we set a certain tone, I think things on the day of the New Zealand game clicked and we realised what we could do,” said the 21-year-old.

“The intensity and the tempo we played with that day was outstanding and we didn’t want to take a backward step from that and I thought Scotland was a good start.

“I think over the first weekend of the competition it has showed that anything can happen. There was a big upset with Italy beating France and the way Ireland came out against Wales, people didn’t expect that.

“It shows anything can happen but we knew at the weekend that we were in a very tough Test match. Scotland played right the way through the game and never gave up.”

Farrell’s fly-half rival Toby Flood, a replacement against Scotland, is now wary of the test posed by Ireland.

“Historically we have not gone very well over there, the last result was a win just before the World Cup in 2011 but that doesn’t really count for a huge amount,” said the Leicester Tigers ace.

“They are an impressive side, the way they dismantled Wales last weekend and how they produced that result is impressive, especially at the Millennium Stadium.

“They have an incredibly strong, mobile game and the way they play allows them to cause damage in different areas.

“They have huge, huge positives from their game and it is something we have to be very wary of come the weekend.”

Toby Flood and Owen Farrell are representing the England team for Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Official partner of the RFU. Marriott Hotels & Resorts is giving away a two-night break in Europe every time England score a try in the RBS 6 Nations. Go to for more details.

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