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Ireland crowned Six Nations champions for the third time in five years

England’s failure in Paris means Joe Schmidt’s men are trophy winners.

IRELAND HAVE BEEN crowned 2018 Six Nations champions, securing their third title in five years under Joe Schmidt.

Schmidt’s men moved into a strong position at the top of the table with a bonus-point 28-8 victory over Scotland earlier today and England’s failure to beat France in the second fixture of the day has sealed Ireland’s trophy success.

Sean Cronin celebrates scoring his sides bonus point try with Conor Murray and Jacob Stockdale Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Though Ireland will be thrilled with the title, Schmidt will now move his focus onto guiding Ireland to a Grand Slam next weekend as they visit Twickenham to take on Eddie Jones’ wounded England.

Ireland have won only two Grand Slams in their history, with the first arriving all the way back in 1948 and the second earned under Declan Kidney in 2009.

Schmidt will have his eye on new history now, but England’s 22-16 defeat in Paris ensures that Ireland have their third Six Nations title under his coaching – just Ireland’s 14th championship success overall.

The Kiwi made an instant impact by helping Ireland to the 2014 Six Nations, before backing that up with another trophy in 2015.

While the following two years were frustrating as Ireland underwent a period of transition, they have been impressive in the current championship.

A dramatic win over France on the opening weekend via a late Johnny Sexton drop-goal got the ball rolling for Ireland, before home wins against Italy and Wales at the Aviva Stadium.

Today’s four-try victory over the Scots put Ireland into prime position and they can now look towards that Grand Slam shot in Twickenham next Saturday, with a 2.45pm kick-off time.

Following back-to-back defeats to Scotland and France, there is little doubt that England will put up a ferocious fight.

Schmidt’s Ireland show typically clinical edge from close-range against Scots

‘I don’t think Jacob is near his potential. What we’re seeing at the moment is exciting’

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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