England rugby reveal which Six Nations games Itoje will miss

Ireland's 2018 was magic but can they begin a World Cup year with another storming Six Nations performance

Ireland's 2018 was magic but can they begin a World Cup year with another storming Six Nations performance

After watching his team get physically dominated by England, Joe Schmidt, the Ireland head coach, admitted that he had been anxious by the unusually subdued atmosphere in the dressing room before kick-off, and speaking at Ireland's Carton House base yesterday, Earls admitted there was a lack of intensity in their approach to the game.

"And in the future you want to be able to look back on this and say "that actually did us some good because we learned and improved off the back of it, and found more ways to be successful". It's not too dissimilar to the All Blacks here a couple of years ago when we got beaten up and we got beaten up again", he said. "England were really good, especially in the air, they cleaned up in the air and we struggled to get in the contest".

"While we do it well, I think we're overplaying it".

Itoje is crucial figure in England's pack and his power and work rate were key in subduing champions Ireland at the Aviva Stadium.

Ireland leaked more than 30 points at home for just the second time under Joe Schmidt, with the head coach branding the loss a World Cup "reality check".

Yet even though England produced a near faultless display against some people's favourites for the tournament, Jones was not going to be drawn on his team's chances in Asia.

Racing 92 hooker Camille Chat has replaced injured Julien Marchand in the French squad to face England on Sunday.

"They accepted nothing from us and gave us as little as possible and that's a credit to them".

But British & Irish Lions No.9 Murray is confident his side will bounce back.

England's four tries to two victory sees them move above Wales - despite a record-breaking comeback from the men in red in Paris - and into third place.

"But we were off physically to start things off".

"I like to think that we can demonstrate we can take a step up next week and, beyond that, we can demonstrate how we can get back into the tournament because it is a very tough championship. I am a fully signed-up member of the low-key, respectful Schmidt approach every time and I qualify that by saying that what goes on behind closed doors at in-house meetings is very different to that dished out at PR-perfect press conferences for public consumption".

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