Andy Farrell says he is "gutted" after Ireland's open training session in Cork was cancelled.

The team had been due to train in front of fans at CIT but after heavy rainfall over the previous 24 hours, the session had to be called off.

The senior and Under-20 panels instead relocated to Irish Independent Park in Cork, but that was for a closed session.

Ireland head coach Farrell was disappointed to miss out on the chance to interact with local fans.

"The pitch was heavy enough yesterday and with the rain through the night, we had a look at the pitch this morning and it certainly wasn't good enough for us to have a quality session on," he told RTÉ Sport.

"We're gutted because we came down to Cork to connect with the people and there were three and a half thousand fans - a lot of them children - to come and support their national team.

"We weren't able to transfer onto the 4G pitch in Irish Independent Park, the fan element of it, because of risk and well-being.

"Very unfortunate but we managed to get a decent session in, in the end."

This week has been a rest week for all the Guinness Six Nations contenders but next up for Ireland is the challenge of England away. Farrell is under no illusion at the immediate task at hand in Twickenham.

"It's certainly another step up. It was nice to get the two home wins," he said of the victories over Scotland and Wales.

"Going to places like Twickenham is always a daunting enough task. They have won one and lost one and everyone knows in the Six Nations, especially in round three that if you have lost one, you are still in the competition.

"So I suppose they would see [next week's game] as their competition. We are fully aware of that."

He added that the Irish team expect England to be "back at their best" after a defeat to France followed by a tight win in Scotland, albeit in difficult conditions.

"It was very hard to look at the second game with the conditions against Scotland," said Farrell, who previously served as English defence coach between 2011 and 2015.

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell with his son and England captain Owen Farrell 

"But if you look back to their top performances over the last couple of years, one was probably against us at the Aviva in the first round of the [2019] Six Nations and the other two standouts were probably their Australian performance in the World Cup and their semi-final one against New Zealand.

"So we expect them to be at their best and that's how we're going to prepare for it."

There is the added subplot that he will be coaching against his son Owen Farrell, who currently captains England.

Farrell senior is not surprised that the situation is coming up regularly in conversation but says the family are taking the added interest in their stride.

"I understand why I keep getting asked the question," he said.

"But for us it's pretty normal. Ever since I've been a coach, he's been a professional rugby player and that's how we like to keep it - pretty professional."

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