The Grand Slam is on as Ireland defeat Scotland in exciting showdown

Ireland at Six Nations 2018

"It is global rugby and we know it is a step up from Premiership", said Danny Care, the England scrum-half.

"We're all aware of what it is, and what could potentially come at the end of it, but I think what this group is really good at is focusing on what we need to do, and it's effectively just another game-week".

Which means that the Grand Slam is within grasp, as Ireland take on England at Twickenham Stadium in London on Saturday 17 March, kicking off 2.45pm.

"We're on the losing chair but you shouldn't get carried away or be too melodramatic about the way we are. So I don't see any cycle", Jones said. "We'll have a look at England now and try to strike out again next week". But after missing France's first two Six Nations matches this year - both lost - due to a ban for uttering a homophobic slur in a club game, his return has given the team a huge boost.

Knowing Joe Schmidt as we do, he's probably already called the various photography agents in Ireland asking for giant blow-up copies of the mugs of Matt Dawson and Martin Johnson (2001), Nick Easter (2011) and Dylan Hartley (2017).

With Fall clutching his neck, Peyper went to the TMO and with replays bringing boos from the home crowd, the South African referee sent Watson to the sin-bin and raised his hand under the posts to award a penalty try.

And while working at a school and coaching a team may seem words apart, Schmidt draws comparisons between the two professions and is now on the cusp of delivering a stunning Grand Slam success.

"For us, it's about dragging those young lads along", added Sexton.

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"There's kids like that who need to understand what Johnny (Sexton) said, they need to understand that this doesn't happen very often".

From that point France took control.

"We're coming from the Premiership, where no one competes at the breakdown, into the Six Nations, where every team is throwing lots of people into it".

"Declan Kidney said I was just a much as part of it as everyone else back in 2009 when I was in the bibs".

England head coach Eddie Jones is on the verge of facing his most hard period at the helm as his team take on a dominant Ireland side following two successive Six Nations defeats, former player and coach Clive Woodward said.

"We're gutted with the peformance and the result, but I think we showed a lot of character in the last 10 minutes".

Jonathan Sexton concedes that England will be "licking their lips" at the prospect of denying Ireland a Grand Slam when the two sides meet next weekend.

"I told them that if we won it would open up new and positive things. The shoe is on the other foot from previous year [when Ireland ended England's Grand Slam hopes with victory in Dublin on the final weekend] and I am sure they will be licking their lips".

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