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News article – Style E 5598

News article – Style E 5598

…O’Gara Expecting A “Different England”…Larder Labels Paris Performance As “Worst”…Howe: Pressure’s On England…Open Up The Game To Score, Says McBride…O’Gara: Make The Most Of It…

…Peter Stringer takes flight as Ireland’s backs and forwards join in at a maul against Scotland last Saturday…

IRELAND OUT-HALF RONAN O’GARA (Irish Times): “(Reflecting on England’s defeat to France) I haven’t seen them play as poorly as that. England never got back into the game, which is surprising with the quality of people they have.

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“New Zealand are the last team to beat England at Twickenham and that was by one score. I think you’ll see a different England this Saturday.

A lot happens in a week, but I think it’s all about us this week. There is plenty of belief and confidence. We can’t rely on England playing poorly.

“We are expecting England to play well and hopefully we play well – and then game on. I have plenty of faith in the people we have. The English people are perceived to have more self-confidence. I don’t think that’s a trait we’re lacking in, to be honest. We go about it in a different way. There are plenty of people in our team that have shown character over the years.”

ENGLAND DEFENSIVE COACH PHIL LARDER (London Independent):The performance in Paris is probably the worst with which I’ve been associated. The players’ spirits were very low. This week is more about putting an arm around them than kicking them up the backside.

“The turnaround from Sunday to Saturday is not ideal. I have 40 minutes to work on our communication, our intensity, on the nullification of the attacking threat posed by the key individuals in the Ireland side – people like Brian O’Driscoll, Shane Horgan and Geordan Murphy. I have to prioritise. I can’t say it’s ideal, but I cannot devote time to skills work.”

FORMER IRELAND WINGER TYRONE HOWE (Belfast Telegraph): “There is no doubt that Ireland have a great chance on Saturday as all the pressure is on England. They have made a massive change to their team, which puts huge pressure on them to gel.

England do not possess the calibre of player in their back-line that Ireland possess. They don’t have players with the creative ability of Brian O’Driscoll, Gordon D’Arcy, Geordan Murphy and Andrew Trimble.

“Games are won and lost up front and if Ireland can get parity in the set piece and provide the half-backs with quality ball, then it could be a very exciting day for us.”

…Denis McBride tackles England’s Will Carling during Ireland’s famous 13-12 win at Twickenham in 1994…

FORMER IRELAND FLANKER AND SEVENS COACH DENIS MCBRIDE (BBC Sport Online): “I think England will be vulnerable if you move the ball to the wide channels. They have a fairly big, heavy pack that will do damage close in, but it is not terribly mobile. That’s where Ireland can score by opening the game up just as France did last week.

Ireland could be in trouble if England continue with their set piece-dominated game, which appears to be the mode they are like to play on Saturday. So Ireland could be under some pressure if they don’t open the game up and put (Brian) O’Driscoll and company into space.”

RONAN O’GARA (Daily Telegraph): “(Asked about turning 29 last week) I can’t believe it – I can remember playing when I was 21 as if it was yesterday.

“So I’ve realised that you have to make the most of now rather than waiting for next week. My advice to all the young players coming through at Munster is to make the most of it. You are only around for so long.

“I’ve had good friends like Christian Cullen, Alan Quinlan and Frankie Sheahan whose careers have been badly hit by injury – your whole world can be ripped apart by injury.”

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