Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Ireland Up To Second In World Rankings

Ireland Up To Second In World Rankings

Six years on he has a British and Irish Lions cap, helped Ireland claim a maiden win over New Zealand - and now has the chance to drive Joe Schmidt's men to a first Grand Slam since 2009.

Woodward was clear over England's greatest failing at the Stade de France, where the French scored a penalty try and five penalty goals.

"But we want to chuck the ball about among ourselves and have fun".

"On the other side, there's always something with every team, you never play the ideal game, maybe you're trying to do that so there's always fixes - definitely with this group, with the experience, the new guys coming in, the younger generation that have added so much, there's something there, there's another level that we're striving towards". The pair will undergo scans on Monday to ascertain the severity of their injuries. "For us, it's still a job for us that we've got to do next week". Our players are used to playing a certain way and we're finding it hard to change their habits. "We haven't been quick enough to adjust to that".

"It's a sizeable but fixable problem. We can address it and keep getting better at it but the reality is we probably won't get better at it until the World Cup".

Armand won his solitary cap against Argentina last summer but Jones has since resisted calls to select the Zimbabwe-born back-row and previously questioned his work rate.

"We're not in any cycle".

Les Bleus opened this year's campaign with two defeats, by Ireland and Scotland, that stretched their winless streak to eight games. One's by a hair's breadth against France and in the other one we were outplayed.

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"I hope it is the former and that a few more strong words from Jones and some serious soul-searching will act as a corrective".

"I think it's a pretty big challenge", admitted the centre. If you think this is abnormal, I think that thinking is abnormal. "We're better off going through it now". "We need to step up and finish those opportunities and that's about skills under pressure".

"I am sure on Saturday we will put in a fantastic performance". We win together, we lose together.

"We have to get over there and have our A-game ready from the start because there's going to be an extraordinary resolve amongst that English contingent after those two away losses. We're all disappointed, we're all gutted".

England lost consecutive matches under Jones for the first time after defeats by Scotland and France, with Saturday's 22-16 loss in Paris leading to Ireland being crowned as Six Nations champions.

Maitland, a former Super Rugby victor with the Crusaders, has scored eight tries in 33 tests for Scotland since 2013.

"We still don't know [about Hartley]", added Jones.

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