March 30, 2017

England's rugby side on edge of making history

20 March 2017, 01:27 | Joan Schultz

Jamie Heaslip was left out of the lineup at the last minute

Jamie Heaslip was left out of the lineup at the last minute

Had England triumphed at a rainswept Lansdowne Road, they would have set a new record of 19 successive Test wins by a leading rugby union nation and become the first team in the Six Nations era to complete back-to-back Grand Slams.

England may have missed the opportunity to break New Zealand's record for consecutive Test wins, but that's only further fuelled coach Eddie Jones' desire to engineer a crack at the world champions themselves later this year.

"I take full responsibility for the loss and I should have prepared them better", said the man who succeeded Stuart Lancaster after the disastrous 2015 World Cup.

"It was a tough tournament, teams were at it, the standard has been much better and there is a real hardness there.

If we are going off the All Blacks" record, then yes there could be, and it could be England. We're chuffed but realism shows we have work to do. Let us know in the comments section below!

"These things happen, we have a winning average of over 90 per cent, so we are not doing badly. Even [legendary Australia batsman] Don Bradman got a zero in his last Test".

"Eddie has been very sensible around what this is", said Joe Launchbury, the Wasps captain who will return to Dublin in a fortnight for a European Cup quarter-final against Leinster.

"We are better off having that experience today than in a World Cup final in Yokohama in 2019".

"I expect at least 15 of our guys to go on tour with the Lions and will be disappointed if we do not get that many in".

Toner played in the games against Scotland, Wales and France but lost out in a reshuffle made by Schmidt for yesterday's game.

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But an Atletico Madrid source told the paper: "We know now we are going to lose Antoine, it is a matter of when not if".

"You have days like this".

However, with so many players involved in both sides we chose to limit it to the starting XV who played in the decisive 18th win for each team.

"You couldn't say anything other than they were deserved champions". "I think we can leave this championship proud of the effort that we had". "We'll right the wrongs in November".

"I can't wait for us to play them either". "We still managed to win the title".

"There's a lot of discussions to go. There's still a lot to go".

The 2017 Six Nations match takes place Saturday at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, with kick-off scheduled for 5pm GMT (1pm EST for those rugby fans in the US).

"That's way above my pay grade", he said. "We know we have Paddy to come on and perform really well, but you don't want players coming off unnecessarily".

1 in the world rankings and still the team to beat.

Ireland weathered an early French storm in Dublin to ease to a 19-9 success and keep their title hopes alive, Conor Murray scoring the only try of the game.

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