Richard Hill looks ahead to DublinWednesday 20 March 2019
The RBS 6 Nations Championship couldn’t have started any better for England with their outstanding and gritty performance against Wales in the opening game. The 21–16 victory lifted them above Ireland into third in the latest World Rugby Rankings and let them return to their position as the leading northern hemisphere nation in the rankings. The match saw some fantastic individual performances that combined to demonstrate magnificent team strength. James Haskell and George Ford’s performances epitomised how much this England team has progressed under the tutelage of Stuart Lancaster.
The next time these two great rivals meet will be in the pool stage of Rugby World Cup 2015 and it will be an encounter not to be missed. England’s Pool A, touted by some as the Pool of death, will be a stern test and the home side advantage of playing at Twickenham Stadium for three of their pool matches will be in England’s favour. Twickenham will be vibrating with excitement and match tickets will be a much valued item.
The RBS 6 Nations match against Italy provided a very pleasing 30-point winning margin despite England getting off to a slow start, allowing Italy to lead in the first quarter of the match. Jonathan Joseph delighted fans with his outstanding performance and it was wonderful to see the synergy he built up with George Ford. The attacking points will have been gratefully received but there will be a realisation that in Dublin, the Irish defence will be more offensive, looking to smash any white shirt that challenges their gain line, as well as being masters of the choke tackle. If England want to win, what can be described as a likely Championship decider, it is imperative they win the collision when ball carrying.
England head next to Dublin to take on defending champions Ireland, for what should be the most anticipated match of the Championship. With the Grand Slam at stake, Stuart Lancaster and his team will leave no stone unturned in their preparation. England Rugby Travel’s exclusive Meet the Coaches event, the evening before the game, will be an incredible experience. The insight, humour, stories and analysis that Stuart Lancaster, Graham Rowntree, Andy Farrell and Mike Catt will provide is beyond equal if you want a behind the scenes look into England’s RBS 6 Nations campaign and to hear exactly what goes into making the England team tick. Dublin will be pumping with excitement, so the few remaining packages for this memorable weekend will soon be snapped up.
Once the RBS 6 Nations Championship is over, all thoughts will turn to Rugby World Cup 2015. England’s progression through the Tournament will be followed by thousands of passionate Rugby fans all dreaming of World Cup glory at the end of October. The semi-finals could throw up a thrilling weekend of seeing the best four teams in the world fight it out for a place in the final.
The semi-finals can sometimes be better spectacles than the actual Final itself with the last four teams giving their all for a coveted place at Twickenham on October 31. England has an outstanding chance of progressing through the Tournament with just a little refinement to their current game.
Thousands of people have already guaranteed their places at Rugby’s greatest global event, as a Rugby fan it’s definitely a not-to-be-missed event. England Rugby Travel has great ticket-inclusive packages currently available for all 48 fixtures and you can find out more at www.englandrugbytravel.com/rwc2015 As an England Rugby Travel ambassador I am really looking forward to following England all the way through the Tournament.
I hope you enjoy every moment if you are making the trip to Dublin for England’s next 6 Nations match. There is no better place to watch a top class rugby match and with it all to play for the atmosphere will be unforgettable. It would be amazing for England to come away with a win and the chance of a Grand Slam in a World Cup year!