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Mike Tindall backs 'clinical' Ireland to put it up to England | OTB AM

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

10:31 18 Nov 2020

Former England centre Mike Tindall discussed England's chances against Ireland this weekend, on Wednesday's OTB AM.

Tindall professed himself  'mildly smug' about his bullishness at England's chances in the World Cup, but thinks Ireland have made some smart moves in moving towards a 'post-Sexton' era.

Tindall on Ireland

"It's going to be interesting this weekend, it will give you an idea of post-Sexton and how that will look. It is sad that Henshaw is out, and whether Billy Burns starts - you got your fair share of tough deals in losing both your fly-halves.

"[James] Ryan is going to be a great choice as captain at 24-years-old; he captained the under-20s to the final that they got to. He looks like he is going to be a leader going forward, so it could be a good thing in terms of testing his leadership values.

"If you look at the two matches at the weekend, Ireland dominated Wales and England just got the job done against Georgia, so England need to raise their game this weekend."

How to combat England

With Ireland's struggles against teams that are quick off the line, Tindall had some ideas about how to combat an England side in that mould.

"It all comes down to ruck speed, I would say that is the biggest thing in rugby now if you want to play and use space is ruck speed.

"Teams have done that against England, you will make yards because you can't generate that ruck speed so it gives you so many more options.

"Ireland will be looking to do that, what Ireland have also looked at is whether you can get your nine running with players either side, or smart plays with a ten back inside to a winger, you can pick off the not-so-quick people on the inside.

"Ireland have exploited that in the past, but you are getting so few opportunities to do that you have to be so clinical. If you look back at that Wales game, how clinical Ireland were, England just cannot afford to give Ireland penalties because they are so deadly from their set-pieces and their pick-and-go game.

"I am very intrigued to see how the game goes; I think it'll be a classic, England-Ireland, it always is. It is always a humdinger, it will be physical."

Competitive

Tindall believes that the weekend's game will be the latest in a long line of 'competitive' matches between the two nations.

"At the moment, what I have seen from England in the last two games, they haven't hit their straps yet, whereas Ireland are in a far more stable position.

"[Ireland] were so clinical in the way that they played. If England come out and play to a high level, then it'll be a tough day for Ireland but it will still be competitive. If England come out how they have in the last two weekends then it could be very tough for them."

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