England v Ireland Six Nations Match Preview & Best Odds
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England v Ireland Six Nations Match Preview
Live coverage on ITV at 4:45pm, Saturday 12th March 2022
The penultimate round of 2022 Six Nations fixtures sees Ireland head to Twickenham in search of the win which could send them above France in the table (should the latter lose against Wales on Friday evening).
Ireland enjoyed a dominant display when beating England to the tune of 32-18 in the 2021 Six Nations Championship and they head to Twickenham as clear odds-on favourites to once again claim the spoils in what looks set to be a closely-fought encounter.
Thus far this season, Ireland have looked easily the more complete of the two teams ahead of this weekend clash, however beating England on their own patch is always going to be tough. The home side are in no doubt as to the importance of this match with table-topping France next up on the final weekend of the competition.
Ireland captain Johnny Sexton is back in the starting line-up as one of six changes ahead of this match, while prop Cian Healy will come in for injured Andrew Porter. James Ryan, Bundee Aki, Andrew Conway and Hugo Keenen will also make a return for this clash.
For England, Alex Dombrandt will take his place on the bench following his recent recovery from Coronavirus. His inclusion on the bench came following a successful training run-out this morning and his place in the starting line-up will be taken by Sam Simmonds. The hosts have also been lifted by the addition of Tom Curry who has been passed fit to play following concussion.
As far as the match is concerned, we expect the home side’s defence to be challenged to the full throughout this encounter and in all certainly, the Irish will be going all-out for Smith here, hardly a novel approach perhaps but only to be expected. Smith began 2022 with just five caps to his name but this Six Nations tournament has brought him some valuable learning experiences.
Ireland have only managed a single win against England at Twickenham since 2010 but there are indications that this could be their year. They enjoyed a very impressive autumn campaign which saw them beat New Zealand and lose by a narrow margin to likely Six Nations winners France, while they have looked coherent and well organised throughout the competition.
England are yet to click in the tournament and ahead of two matches against the most fancied teams, this is very much a make-or-break two weeks for Eddie Jones’ men.
Our Prediction: England 12 Ireland 17