10 Dec, 12:23
Ireland's John Lacey will referee his first ever RBS 6 Nations while Alain Rolland is also included in the Elite Panel in what is his last season.
"England will be cognisant of the fact that this is their fifth crack at a Grand Slam and it hasn't happened for them. I'm sure they are planning to make it happen Sunday so that does bring a burden on any team no matter how tough they are and they are a tough side. "To be fair to them, they have dug themselves out of a few holes in the autumn particularly against Australia. That game looked like it had slipped away and they bounced back and won it with a certain panache. They're a very good rugby team. They're the best rugby team in the world, we're not getting away from that but they still have to come here on Sunday and play what will probably be 90 minutes of rugby and we want to take it all the way to the wire and see what happens.
"There's no doubt that away wins in the Six Nations are very difficult to achieve and the biggest factor is that you're not in your own back yard. You're in a different stadium and there's the support factor. I know there's been talk of the Lansdowne roar, but it is a factor, the players will tell you that. The support we get at Lansdowne Road when the crowd gets behind the team, I don't know what it's worth, it's hard to quantify, but it seems to makes them six inches taller, they run two seconds faster and they hit ten kilos heavier. That's the home factor. Certainly Lansdowne Road has produced that for us and no doubt it will again next Sunday