Do Not Sell My Personal Information
ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump RugbyDump
Thursday Feb 25, 2016

'England are favourites to beat Ireland and win the Six Nations' says Flatman

'England are favourites to beat Ireland and win the Six Nations' says Flatman

England are favourites to win against Ireland and win the Six Nations too, says David Flatman. The two sides meet this weekend at Twickenham, so former England prop Flatman shared his thoughts on where the game will be won, and by whom.

England, the only northern hemisphere side to win the Rugby World Cup, has not lifted the Six Nations trophy since 2011 and it was way back in 2003 that they claimed the Grand Slam.

Despite this barren run, ITV pundit and former Bath prop Flatman believes Eddie Jones’ side can end their Six Nations hoodoo and not only beat the Irish but win the tournament too.

“There is absolutely no reason why England shouldn’t win the tournament or the grand slam, there really isn’t – they are certainly good enough to do just that,” said Flatman.

“I think Wales are their biggest threat but an issue for the Welsh is that they have struggled and been put under a lot of pressure in the scrum in recent years.”

As for the Ireland clash, he feels that the breakdown is where the game will be won and lost.

Ireland are yet to register a win this campaign, but will be England’s toughest test to date.

The Irish are formidable on the floor and Flatman believes England – who struggled against Italy, a side not renowned as fierce exponents of breakdown work – must improve if they want to maintain their 100% record.

“The breakdown is the key area. It is so important that we are strong here because at the moment the breakdown certainly needs work. If we can compete I am confident we will win.

“I think England’s backrow looks balanced. There is a huge amount of work going with two defensive grafters which allows Billy Vunipola all the opportunity to carry ball which is exactly what he and England want. But I don’t see anywhere where either side will dominate.”

The ITV pundit said the likelihood of an Irish victory took a huge a huge blow with the news that flanker Sean O’Brien will miss the crunch clash at Twickenham.

“It is a massive, massive blow for Ireland to lose Sean O’Brien,” he said. “He is one of the few guys in world rugby that is a defensive nightmare to play against and a ball carrying nightmare too, he is that good. It is a huge loss and one that helps England’s cause greatly.

“We have to be favourites really. When you are without a now retired Paul O’Connell, Sean O’Brien out injured, Ian Henderson, Tommy Bowe, Cian Healy, Mike Ross – these are big big names.

“England do need to sort out our lineouts but with Steve Borthwick, I think that is fixable but with the wingspan of Devin Toner, it will make it difficult.”

England have won five of their last six contests against the Irish.

Richard Mills

Twickenham, 16:50pm, Saturday 27 February

England: Mike Brown (Harlequins), Anthony Watson, Jonathan Joseph (both Bath), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Jack Nowell (Exeter), George Ford (Bath), Ben Youngs (Leicester); Joe Marler (Harlequins), Dylan Hartley (Northampton – captain), Dan Cole (Leicester), Maro Itoje, George Kruis (both Saracens), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), James Haskell (Wasps), Billy Vunipola (Saracens).
Replacements: Jamie George, Mako Vunipola, Alex Goode (all Saracens), Paul Hill, Courtney Lawes (Northampton), Jack Clifford, Danny Care (Harlequins), Elliot Daly (Wasps).

Ireland: Rob Kearney, Andrew Trimble, Robbie Henshaw, Stuart McCloskey, Keith Earls, Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray; Jack McGrath, Rory Best, Mike Ross, Devin Toner, Donnacha Ryan, CJ Stander, Josh van der Flier, Jamie Heaslip.
Replacements: Richardt Strauss, Cian Healy, Nathan White, Ultan Dillane,  Rhys Ruddock, Eoin Reddan, Ian Madigan, Simon Zebo.

ADVERTISEMENT

Related Articles

  • 60 WEEKS AGO

    scottish prop saves fire victim

  • 64 WEEKS AGO

    New Rugby X tournament insane

  • 92 WEEKS AGO

    Vunipola stands by his comments supporting...

ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 1 DAY AGO

    It's 30 years since France scored that epic 'Try of the Century' from beneath their posts

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Amazing acrobatic skills set up early try in Pro D2 Friday night clash

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Arguably the most insane three minutes of Fijian rugby history

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Jonny Wilkinson's iconic performance that ripped Ireland apart in 2002

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Jamie Roberts turns back the clock with trademark midfield power for well taken try

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Springbok fans celebrate Liam Williams' game-losing error in 2014

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Huge brawl blows up in dugouts during 1999 Wales Test in Buenos Aires

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Old school highlights show just how brutal rugby really was in the 80s

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Liam Williams suspended despite on field protestations

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Kyle Sinkler banned for going full John McEnroe at referee

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    Vakatawa blows crucial try in terrible blooper, similar to Kunitani in 2014

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Old school highlights show just how brutal rugby really was in the 80s

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Highlights and reaction to Saracens shock defeat to Championship regulars Ealing

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Zebo slams Folau over potential return to rugby union

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Steve Thompson's heartbreaking interview which shocked World Rugby in December

View All

Funnies

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Fijian wing who lifted a referee like Lion King now faces a disciplinary hearing

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Referee JP Doyle reacts to hilarious moment red card was dished out after bizarre celebration

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Without doubt one of the funniest red cards in the history of rugby

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Nigel Owens produces comedy gold by forgetting crucial piece of kit during Pro14 clash

  • 5 WEEKS AGO

    The VERY BEST examples of when rugby players celebrate too early

View All

Amateur

  • 11 WEEKS AGO

    Viral video of Scottish club brawl goes down a storm with rugby community

  • 48 WEEKS AGO

    RUGBYDUMP BLITZ: This Best of the Week round up is sure to entertain you

  • 49 WEEKS AGO

    RD BLITZ - Disaster, just when it looked so promising...

  • 49 WEEKS AGO

    That glorious moment that will live on forever, like it or not

  • 49 WEEKS AGO

    RD Blitz - PROP'S Lionel Messi wizardy creates incredible try

View All

Player Features

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Brian Moore on money in modern rugby and how it should never be compared to 'outlier' football

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Tuisova's wrecking ball montage will make you grateful you never made it as a pro

  • 8 WEEKS AGO

    New Zealand rugby pod admit Owen Farrell is world class

  • 8 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Bath prop launches Amazon documentary focused on those from non-traditional backgrounds

  • 10 WEEKS AGO

    The highs and lows of Yoann Huget after he announced his retirement

View All
'England are favourites to beat Ireland and win the Six Nations' says Flatman | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos