England will be more concerned with winning for each other rather than ending Ireland’s hopes of a Grand Slam when they face the new Six Nations champions at Twickenham on Saturday, according to Lewis Moody.
Following successive away defeats to Scotland and France, England have been dethroned as champions, having won the previous two editions of the competition.
Ireland denied England the Grand Slam last year with victory in the finale in Dublin, and this weekend’s clash at Twickenham gives Eddie Jones’ men the chance to gain a measure of revenge and end a disappointing campaign on a high.
The build-up to the clash has been marred by controversy over the emergence of footage featuring England coach Jones making offensive comments at an event for Japanese company Fuso last July, the Australian “unreservedly” apologising for calling the Irish “scummy” and Wales a “little s*** place”.
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has insisted his team will be unaffected by those remarks and former flanker Moody, who won the World Cup with England in 2003, does not expect the hosts to give the game extra significance because of the opportunity to deny Schmidt’s men a Slam.
Speaking on behalf of Land Rover, the long-standing supporter of rugby at all levels; from grassroots to the elite, Moody told Omnisport: “They’ll be more concerned with winning at home and putting to bed those last two defeats.
“They aren’t accustomed to losing and they’re certainly not accustomed to losing three games on the trot.
“All that will be on their mind is going out at Twickenham and winning for each other.
“It won’t be about winning for the country and all those sorts of things, it’ll be about proving to each other and every member of that team that they are as good as they were prior to coming into this competition and as good as they continue to desire to be.
“I think England at home are a very difficult side to go and beat. I know Ireland will put up a huge challenge but I’d like to think England could sneak it by five, especially as Ireland have already won the Six Nations.”
Lewis Moody is a Land Rover ambassador. Land Rover is celebrating its Testimonial Season, with 10 years supporting grassroots rugby in the UK. Follow @LandRoverRugby #WeDealInReal
KEO.co.za News wire is powered by opta