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Six Nations 2024: England need to reduce Ireland to 14 or 13 players to win – Jimmy Heaslip

Six Nations 2024: England need to reduce Ireland to 14 or 13 players to win – Jimmy Heaslip

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Ireland beat 14-man England on their last visit to Twickenham in March 2022

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 must be reduced to “14 or 13 players” for England to win Saturday's Six Nations clash at Twickenham, says former Irish eighth-ranked Jamie Heaslip.

Andy Farrell's side enter the match favored to win their second Grand Slam in a row.

England, whose Grand Slam hopes were ended by Scotland last time out, could welcome back Marcus Smith.

England have not achieved a win in their past four meetings with Ireland.

“I haven't seen what the bookmakers are saying, but for England to win, Ireland will have to be down to 14 or 13 players and I think England need to have some tricks up their sleeve,” Heaslip, who won 95 caps for Ireland, told the Rugby Union Podcast. Daily.

Interestingly, the last four encounters have seen a red card. Ireland center Bendy Ake was sent off in the 2021 Six Nations clash, and England's Charlie Ewells was sent off after just 82 seconds at Twickenham in 2022.

Freddie Steward's red card dashed England's hopes of stopping a Grand Slam in Ireland last year, while Billy Vunipola was also sent off when the two sides met at the Aviva Stadium in a World Cup warm-up match in August.

While Ireland have suffered some humbling defeats at Twickenham over the years, Heaslip believes the team's mentality has changed with Farrell's side having lost just five times since the start of 2021.

“They just know how to win,” Heaslip, a two-time British and Irish tourist, said of Farrell’s team.

“It's a very strong mentality that fills them with confidence. It kind of reminds me of the Richie McCaw-Dan Carter side with New Zealand.”

“That period from 2007 to the 2015 World Cup when they were so dominant.

“It builds a little momentum for these guys. They don't take anything for granted, that's for sure.”

“Andy Farrell won't let them take anything for granted. They're not afraid to go out there [Twickenham] Now but they must certainly understand the history between the two sides.

“Pharrell is definitely one of the best people to remember that.”

Image source, Getty Images

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Heaslip (right) won three Six Nations titles with Ireland, including a Grand Slam in 2009

The last time Ireland traveled to Twickenham as reigning Grand Slam champions was in 2010, when a late Tommy Bowe effort lifted the visitors to a 20-16 win and ended England's hopes of a clean sweep.

“For us, it was huge,” recalls Heaslip, who also captained Ireland against England in 2013.

“I remember going there in 2008 and being especially served at the party.

“I'll never forget, especially when I was eight years old, all day long this crowd would come back to me and it was a nightmare, they were so physically dominant.

“I remember getting into it [in 2010] Thinking, “We can't let this happen, we can't let them stake their claim on this.”

“We had some tricks up our sleeve, but plays that could help expose that and trick Tommy [breaking through the seam of the line-out to score his try] Wrapped it up.”

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Six Nations 2024: BBC Rugby team playing traitors

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