An English World Cup winner thinks Lancaster's men will beat Irish 'team in transition'

More and more pundits are tipping England to win on Sunday week.

Vickery played tighthead on England's World Cup winning team in 2003.
Vickery played tighthead on England's World Cup winning team in 2003.
Image: Joe Giddens

IN AN IDEAL world we would have uninterrupted Six Nations rugby but this week off actually came at an ideal time as it allows all of the hype ahead of Ireland v England to marinate nicely before being served in two weeks time.

Since England have looked the more impressive outfit over the first two rounds it isn’t a huge surprise that Ireland aren’t even favoured at the Aviva Stadium, a ground where they have won their last seven games.

And some notable former players are also backing England to continue their march to Grand Slam glory in Dublin. Jeremy Guscott has already told The42 that he thinks the Red Rose will win the Six Nations and writing for ESPN, World Cup winning prop Phil Vickery is also tipping England to leave the Aviva with a win.

While praising aspects of the Irish side, mostly Johnny Sexton and the mental toughness of the senior players, Vickery also says they are a ‘team in transition’ and fancies England to beat them.

“They have the game plan, nous and leg-drive to beat Ireland but they must also boss the breakdown,” Vickery said.

“If England can take the best of what they did in Wales, the confidence of being able to score tries through their own creativity like they did against Italy, tighten up the set piece, sharpen up in defence and continue kicking well – they will win.”

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This build-up probably suits Joe Schmidt’s side perfectly. While there are two sides going into the game with unbeaten records, Ireland aren’t being talked about as favourites even with home advantage.

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