Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Six Nations: England vs Ireland Preview

Six Nations: England vs Ireland Preview

England celebrate scoring against Scotland

England and Ireland will square off at Twickenham on Sunday the 23rd of February with Darry Worthington previewing the clash.

Eddie Jones' England welcome Andy Farell's Ireland to London for what will be a titanic clash.  The hosts head into this one having won one and lost one of their opening two fixtures. The Irish, on the other hand, are yet to taste defeat this term and will be eager to make it three wins on the trot.

England v Ireland
Sunday 23 February
Twickenham
17:00

To Win (80 Mins)
England 1/3
Draw 25/1
Ireland 24/10

Handicap
England (-7.5) 9/10
Ireland (+7.5) 9/10

England
The English really do have little margin for error here as a defeat would leave them on a maximum of seven points, while the Irish could possibly move up to 14 points should they score four tries.

It's unlikely we'll see try-scoring bonus points in this game as there's a lot of rain floating around England at the minute. As such, this is likely to be a battle of attrition between the two forward packs.

England have lost a man who could have played a key role in this with prop Mako Vunipoala out due to family reasons. He's likely to be replaced by either Joe Marler or Ellis Genge. Genge, who has been so effective off the bench and scored the match-winning try in England's Round 1 clash against Wales, offers a great ball-carrying threat but Marler is the stronger scrummager.

While the heavy-hitters upfront will play a massive role, the English will need back Owen Farrell to fire. The Saracens man had an absolute shocker during England's 35-22 Round 2 defeat to the French. If he struggles again, then England could be in all sorts of trouble.

Ireland
Andy Farell's tenure at the Irish national helm has gotten off to an ideal start with his charges registering wins over Scotland (19-12) and Wales (24-14). These two victories and the bonus point they claimed from their fixture against Wales, have put the Irish in a very handy position headed into Round 3.

Farell will be extremely wary of the English as he knows they need a win here to have any hope of claiming this year's Six Nations crown.

Ireland's recent record against England at Twickenham doesn't make for great reading with the men from the Emerald Isle only winning one of the last five Six Nations fixtures played in London. They will take some confidence from the fact that they did beat the English the last time the two sides clashed in a Six Nations fixture in England.

Verdict: England (-7.5) 9/10
There's a lot of rain being forecast for Sunday which means this one is likely to be one by the forward packs. While the Irish have a handy enough eight, I think England's maybe slightly better. The return of Manu Tuilangi is a massive coup for England as well as he will give them a robust ball-carrying option in midfield.

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