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Opta Match Facts Preview: England v Ireland

Opta Match Facts Preview: England v Ireland

In-form back rower CJ Stander was Ireland's man-of-the-match in both of their wins over Scotland and Wales in the opening two rounds of the Guinness Six Nations ©INPHO/Gary Carr

Opta bring you all the team and player facts you need as the build-up continues to Ireland’s Guinness Six Nations round 3 match against England at Twickenham Stadium (kick-off 3pm).


– Ireland are the only side to hold a winning record over England in the Six Nations (W11, L9). However, they come into this game having suffered a record defeat to them in a Rugby World Cup warm-up match last year (57-15, August 2019)

– England have lost just one of their last 19 home games in the Six Nations (W17, D1), but that one defeat did come the last time they hosted Ireland (March 2018)

– This will be the 21st Six Nations clash between England and Ireland. There has yet to be a game between them where the side losing at half-time has turned things around to snatch a victory

– Ireland have picked up four wins against England at Twickenham in the Six Nations, more than the other four sides combined have managed (Wales x2, France x1)

– England and Ireland have each conceded just 22 turnovers in this year’s Six Nations, fewer than any other side. England have also won a joint-high 17 turnovers (France also 17)

– Ireland have won 95% of their lineouts in the Six Nations this year (19/20) – the best rate of any team – but England have stolen the most lineouts (5) in the Championship in 2020

– England’s Maro Itoje has hit 74 rucks in the Six Nations this year, more than any other player, while he has also won the most turnovers of any player (6). Ireland’s Bundee Aki has hit the most rucks of any back after two rounds (31)

– Ireland’s Jordan Larmour has made the most carries (34) and gained the most metres (192) of any player in this year’s Six Nations, although it is team-mate Jacob Stockdale (10.3m per carry) who boasts the best average gain of any one to make 10-plus carries this campaign

– Ireland head coach Andy Farrell played against Ireland once in his playing career with England, suffering a 43-13 loss at Croke Park in 2007. That was England’s heaviest ever defeat to Ireland

– Ben Youngs is set to win his 100th Test cap against Ireland. It will be his 98th appearance for England (also two Lions caps), moving him past Dylan
Hartley as the country’s second most capped player, behind Jason Leonard (114)


– Jonny May (29) now sits in fifth spot on England’s all-time top try scorers list, his brace against France taking him past Jason Robinson (28). One more will see him equal Jeremy Guscott, two more would see him move joint second with Ben Cohen and Will Greenwood (Rory Underwood is first with 49)

– Elliot Daly has scored four tries in his five appearances against Ireland, Rory Underwood (7) is the only player since World War Two to score more for England in this fixture. Daly made his England debut against Ireland in 2016

– Jonathan Joseph wins his 50th cap for England, however he is starting on the wing for the first time in Test rugby. His last start on the wing in any game came in 2013 for London Irish. Ireland are one of just two sides he has faced five-plus times in international rugby and not scored a try against
(also South Africa)

– Owen Farrell has missed seven tackles in the 2020 Six Nations, only Nick Tompkins (8) has missed more. In fact, Farrell has missed more tackles in the history of the Six Nations than any other player (76, Sergio Parisse 74, Jonny Wilkinson 69)


Keith Earls (30) needs one try to go clear of Tommy Bowe as Ireland’s second top try scorer in Test rugby, behind Brian O’Driscoll (46). He has scored just one try in nine games against England, that five-pointer coming in his first such game, at Twickenham back in 2010

Bundee Aki has hit 31 rucks in the Six Nations this year, the only back in the tournament to hit 30-plus rucks. Meanwhile, his team-mate Josh van der Flier has been the first man to 41 rucks, more than any other player

Rob Herring has found a team-mate with each of his 19 lineout throws in the Six Nations this year. No other hooker has attempted more than six throws without missing at least one

CJ Stander has won five jackal turnovers in the Six Nations this year, two more than any other player. Only England’s Maro Itoje (6) has won more turnovers overall in this campaign