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Highlights on Off The Ball

James Ryan says it's a huge honour to captain Ireland, but is determined not to be sidetracked by the honour. 

The 24-year old appeared in front of the media on Tuesday afternoon, in the absence of regular skipper Jonathan Sexton.

Ryan took on the captain's mantle when Sexton exited last week's 32-9 victory over Wales at the Aviva.

While it won't be confirmed until Andy Farrell posts his team-sheet on Wednesday, Ryan's 30th cap is set to be the first time he's led the side out.

"Huge honour for me, so I'm looking forward to it", he told his press conference.

"Probably the great thing about it is, I won't be on my own. There's guys like Peter O'Mahony there, Hendy (Iain Henderson), Earlsy (Keith Earls), huge amount of experience.

"Johnny's been in for the week as well, so we'll be very much driving things together this week as we usually would.

"It's an exciting week for all of us".

Ryan says he will be leaning on that "core group" of on-field leaders this week as they prepare for the England test.

The second row believes Ireland's second game of the year at England HQ will give them a decent appraisal of where they are under Andy Farrell.

While they eased passed Wales last week, Ireland only managed a pair of tries - with James Lowe's coming in the final seconds of the game.

Being more clinical is something Ryan says the side are continuing to work towards.

"That was probably the one over-riding theme from the French game, that we created opportunities through pressure - which was great - but we weren't clinical enough. We didn't take the opportunities that were given to us.

"I thought that kind of clinical piece was definitely better at the weekend, and it's got to be better again this week. Because we know when we get into the English '22' that we're going to need to come away with scores."

The Tight Five | A scrum full of Porter, England setpiece attack, and outhalf options

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Autumn Nations Cup England Ireland James Ryan

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