England head coach Eddie Jones can usually be counted upon for a puckish and mischievous pre-match soundbite in the week of a Six Nations game but this time around he appears to have delegated that responsibility to his defence coach. 

That defence coach, John Mitchell, a former coach of New Zealand during their unhappy 2003 World Cup experience, praised Ireland as "arguably the best side in the world" but also foresaw that they would attempt to "bore the s***" out of their opposition on Saturday. 

The Against the Head panel on RTÉ wasn't minded to treat the remarks with too much gravity but two-time Triple Crown winner Donal Lenihan did point out that if Joe Schmidt's Ireland were boring, it's the kind of boring most Irish supporters can live with.  

"I think he said 'tried to bore the s***e out of us'! I'd love to know who 'us' is," Lenihan said. 

"Certainly you look at the Irish public after the games against Argentina and New Zealand. They didn't look particularly bored to me. I had a look back at the autumn. We played four games, scored 22 tries. England played four games, scored 11 tries. 

"If it's as boring as that all the time, bring it on."

RTÉ rugby analyst Bernard Jackman said that the arrival of Mitchell did seem to precipitate a slight improvement in England's defensive play but stressed that he didn't think Mitchell's analysis was correct on Ireland v England defensively. 

"He was a very hard-nosed player. Played with Garryowen and obviously he was an All-Black. Him and Eddie Jones have been friends for a long time. And he's never been a defence coach. He's always been a head coach and a forwards coach. So it was a bit of a surprise that Jones went for him.  

"But England had a poor Six Nations. He came in in November and they've been a little bit better. If you measure both sides, we have more attacking intent than England do."

Follow Ireland v England (4.45pm) via our liveblog on RTÉ.ie/sport and the News Now app, or listen to live national radio commentary on RTÉ Radio 1's Saturday Sport