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Six Nations 2024: England are an 'incredibly dangerous' team, says Ireland coach Andy Farrell

Six Nations 2024: England are an 'incredibly dangerous' team, says Ireland coach Andy Farrell

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Ireland have won their past three Six Nations meetings with England

Guinness Six Nations: England v Ireland

place: Twickenham Stadium, London date: Saturday 9 March Starting: 16:45 GMT

coverage: Listen to BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Sounds and BBC Radio Ulster; Live text updates, reporting, reactions and highlights on the BBC Sport website and app

Ireland coach Andy Farrell said he did not pay attention to England's critics, describing them as an “incredibly dangerous” team.

England go into Saturday's Six Nations clash against Ireland chasing the Grand Slam on the back of a dispiriting loss to Scotland.

But Farrell expects Steve Borthwick's side to give his players a “hell of a fight” at Twickenham.

“I don’t engage in criticism at all,” he said.

Farrell, who has eight caps for England and spent four years as Stuart Lancaster's assistant coach, added: “I don't look at that. I look at the individuals, the way they play, the coaching staff they have, the plan they have.

“I know they are a great team and will be prepared to give it everything they have, which makes them incredibly dangerous.

“We are preparing for them to be the best they can be, and if that is the case it will be a hell of a battle.”

Ireland were pressured by 14-man England in Dublin in last year's final but cruised to a 29-16 victory to win the Grand Slam on home soil.

When asked about improving that display, Farrell said: “England did well to slow us down last year. It wasn't just that.” [our] mistakes. The game was slow.

“Whether that was a tactic on their part or not, I don't know, but we have to expect more of the same I thought.

“We'll take every minute as it comes. That's the nature of the game. That was a year ago and then we came back two weeks later, against Wales, and we wanted to do better as well, so there's always something going on.” For this to be the case.”

Farrell was speaking after naming his squad to face England, with a fit Hugo Keenan replacing Ciaran Frawley at full-back in the only change from the win over Wales in Dublin.

He said of Keenan's return: “I think it would be a boost for any team in world rugby, he's a world-class full-back, isn't he?”

“It's a testament to him and it's no surprise to us that he was able to return to that position to participate this weekend.

“He was incredibly diligent to make this happen.”

video caption,

Six Nations 2024: BBC Rugby answers Oscar's quick questions

“Circumstances” means that Ringrose has been disqualified

During Keenan's return, midfielder Gary Ringrose was not included in Farrell's Round 23 squad despite recovering from a shoulder problem, with Farrell selecting Conor Murray and Frawley as his replacement full-backs.

“He's fit and well,” Farrell said of Ringrose, who has yet to feature in this year's tournament.

“He's been training all week, all the communication necessary to be available. It's just circumstances. I spoke to him yesterday and he was actually smiling. It's just circumstances, he knows what I think about him as a rugby player.”

“His comment to me was that he's been on the good side of circumstances many times, so he understands that.”

Ireland will retain the Six Nations title with one game to go if they secure a bonus-point win over England.

The win will also keep the world number two team on track to win a second successive Grand Slam ahead of the final at home to Scotland on March 16.

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