/ Six Nations 2014

Stuart Lancaster: Ireland becoming more complete

Updated: Thursday, 13 Feb 2014 11:33 | Comments

Stuart Lancaster: 'Their mauling game, as we saw against Wales, was excellent, so technically they're very good'
Stuart Lancaster: 'Their mauling game, as we saw against Wales, was excellent, so technically they're very good'

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England boss Stuart Lancaster has heaped praise on Ireland ahead of the crucial Six Nations clash in Twickenham in nine days’ time.

Lancaster, who is almost certain to name an unchanged starting XV for a third successive match, said: "Ireland are becoming the most complete side, definitely, because they've clearly improved in their forward play.”

"John Plumtree is their new forwards and defence coach and you can see the improvements they've made in that area.

"Their mauling game, as we saw against Wales, was excellent, so technically they're very good.

"They're very good at the breakdown, which is another element of John Plumtree's role.

"And Joe Schmidt is a very good head coach who understands the different strategies needed to win games.

"Ireland have kicked the ball probably double the amount of times they did during the autumn internationals. They manage the tactical game very well.

"The third part of the equation is the quality of players they have.

"There were over 700 caps in their team and you only have to look at how many Lions they have. It's a pretty good side all round at the moment."

Ireland, who sit top of the Six Nations table, level on four points with France, face England on 22 February at 4pm.

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