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Let's get ready to rumble: Irish stars gear up for Six Nations

Jamie Heaslip, Jonathan Sexton and Jerry Flannery face the camera in anticipation of the championship kick-off.

Image: Youtube screengrab via Ballywire

NOW THAT THE squad’s been named, public attention can turn to this year’s RBS 6 Nations Championship which promises to be one of the closest in recent seasons.

England are marginal favourites ahead of defending champions France, with Ireland and Wales not far behind, while both Scotland and Italy showed some encouraging form in the November internationals.

With the World Cup little more than seven months away, the championship takes on added significance, as it represents a final opportunity for the coaches to work with their squads and blood new players in a competitive environment before heading to New Zealand in the autumn.

Ireland finished runners-up last season, throwing away the Triple Crown with a disappointing performance against Scotland in their final game at Croke Park.

Defeats at the hands of New Zealand and Australia in the summer were followed by two wins out of four in November.

Jamie Heaslip, Jonathan Sexton and Jerry Flannery, who misses the first part of the championship because of injury, have been looking at Ireland’s prospects.

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