Six Nations stands to deliver - yet again


'Looking back to England we know no-one expected us to win that, but there was a feeling within the camp we were going to turn up and do a job on them.

The New Zealander, who is set to take charge of his final Guinness Six Nations match at the helm of Ireland, has some interesting selection decisions, including at full-back - where Jordan Larmour will challenge Rob Kearney for the starting jersey after impressing against France.

They lost to England in the first round and then produced unconvincing wins over Scotland and Italy, which Sexton blames on minor errors piling up.

Regardless of when their next game will be, it will feel like a long time away if Ireland finish the Six Nations with a defeat against a Wales team who they are more than capable of beating. And, with Wales on a record run of 13 successive wins under Warren Gatland, Schmidt insists Ireland will have to maintain focus throughout next Saturday's contest to deny the home side.

"It means we're one point behind England, two points behind Wales, one round to go".

The Ireland coach was delighted with how his team performed for two thirds of their 26-14, bonus point victory over France on Sunday but was also frustrated by how they allowed the French to strike for two late tries. You've got to put 80 minutes together in Cardiff and I think that's a really good point.

"The home ground get right behind the Welsh team there".

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If Ireland win, then England can take the championship for the third time in four years by beating Scotland, regardless of bonus points and, nearly certainly, regardless of score. We want to finish on a high and win a championship. Both have been mentioned as possible coaches of the British & Irish Lions in South Africa in 2021, while Gatland has, somewhat mischievously, played along with suggestions that he might succeed Eddie Jones at England.

The 38-year-old will hope to regain her starting place, and she could end up forming a front-row with Linda Djougang, who is pushing for her first Six Nations start.

'Warren has an exceptional ability to get the boys up for what we are doing. 'I wouldn't say I'm greedy, but you can't be successful if you're not greedy for that depth and those points.

Here we take a look back at some of Ireland's stand-out Six Nations matches of the Schmidt era. I know he was a really important for the Scarlets when they won the Pro14, ' said Schmidt.

"If you become distracted at all then there's a risk that they won?t be replicated the following time you get out there and play".

Ireland scrum coach Greg Feek has admitted both men must now come through training sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday to be ready for the weekend's Cardiff trip.