Talking Points Ahead Of This Weekend's Huge England Vs Ireland Clash

Kristopher Nichols
March 17, 2018

Former Leinster and Scotland coach Matt Williams, now an Irish television rugby analyst, has been among Ireland's leading critics even though the team are now just one win away from a Grand Slam to set alongside their Championship clean sweeps of 1948 and 2009.

Each player will earn up to a maximum of €100,000 each, depending on what type of contract.

Schmidt must be confident that the prospect of a Grand Slam will be enough to motivate his players and propel them on to victory.

Wales coach Warren Gatland refused to criticise Eddie Jones after footage from July a year ago surfaced in which the England coach was caught making offensive comments about Wales and Ireland.

Streaming service NBC Sports Gold will provide live coverage of Ireland versus England on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. ET, as well as the other Six Nations matches.

"I'm not exactly sure what they were", added Schmidt when asked about Jones' comments.

There is just one change to the Ireland side to face England in the Grand Slam showdown at Twickenham on Saturday.

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The video shows Jones giving a talk on leadership for Fuso, the Japanese parent company of England sponsors Mitsubishi. The Rugby Football Union said it would apologise to the Irish and Welsh unions.

'I'm sure in retrospect people are probably thinking it's not the best thing to do.

There are no changes in the back line after another impressive display last time out. We were in their position before and it's a easy place to get motivated in and it's backs to the walls stuff for them.

"It was part of a plan over these few games that we would mix up (second-row) selection and Iain has a little bit under his belt after a few weeks off", said coach Joe Schmidt. So Wales, who knows Wales?

Jones could be without Dylan Hartley and Elliot Daly for the game against Ireland after both emerged as injury doubts on Wednesday ahead of his team announcement. This time a year ago we were scrambling, we thought Conor (Murray) was going to play on the Thursday and Kieran Marmion came in, did superbly. The last four clashes between England and Ireland at Twickenham have all been won by the home side and this could give them the edge.

Jones coached in Japan for six years before taking on the England head coaching job following a brief stint with the Stormers.

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