Will England be able to stop the Irish juggernaut?

Our England v Ireland predictions are in. It’s a blockbuster fixture that England have typically dominated but the balance of power has definitely shifted of late.

Under Andy Farrell, Ireland have become one of the most formidable sides in world rugby and are favourites to clinch a second successive Six Nations Grand Slam, following convincing bonus-point wins over France, Italy and Wales.

Read more: England blitz will bring rewards

They have won the last four meetings between the sides and few would bet against them extending that streak at Twickenham on Saturday.

England are very much a team at the start of a new phase of development under head coach Steve Borthwick. They secured hard-fought victories over Italy and Wales before losing to Scotland last time out and will have to turn in a much-improved performance if they are to have any hope of stopping the Irish juggernaut.

England v Ireland predictions

Andy Wright: Ireland by 25 points. It’s really hard to see anything but an Ireland win that will wrap up the championship. England laboured against Italy and Wales and were expected to perform better against Scotland, only to put on a chaotic display at Murrayfield in a 30-21 defeat.

The Scots exposed the new blitz defence, while England’s attack was blunt for the majority of the 80 minutes. Facing an Ireland side chasing history is at least one step up, so I expect the well-oiled green machine to further exploit the weaknesses of a team that is still searching for its identity.

Josh Graham: Ireland by 13. It’s not a great look if Ireland wrap up the championship with a game to spare on Saturday but it seems by far the most likely outcome.

Hugo Keenan’s return is a boon for Andy Farrell and while Steve Borthwick has handed the exciting Manny Feyi-Waboso a first start, the Exeter wing can’t be expected to perform a miracle on his own.

Kick-off time: 4.45pm GMT – Sat 9 March

TV channel: ITV(UK) – How to watch the Six Nations wherever you are

Capacity: 82,000

England v Ireland head-to-head results

2023 World Cup warm-up: Ireland 29-10 England

2023 Six Nations: Ireland 29-16 England

2022 Six Nations: England 15-32 Ireland

2021 Six Nations: Ireland 32-18 England

2020 Autumn Nations Cup: England 18-7 Ireland

Related: Six Nations Table 2024

England v Ireland team news

Read more: England Six Nations squad

England: George Furbank; Immanuel Feyi-Waboso, Henry Slade, Ollie Lawrence, Tommy Freeman; George Ford, Alex Mitchell; Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Dan Cole, Maro Itoje, George Martin, Ollie Chessum, Sam Underhill, Ben Earl

Replacements: Theo Dan, Joe Marler, Will Stuart, Chandler Cunningham-South, Alex Dombrandt, Danny Care, Marcus Smith, Elliot Daly.

Ireland: Hugo Keenan; Calvin Nash, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, James Lowe; Jack Crowley, Jamison Gibson-Park; Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan,
Tadhg Furlong, Joe McCarthy, Tadhg Beirne, Peter O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris.

Related: Ireland Six Nations squad

Replacements: Ronan Kelleher, Cian Healy, Finlay Bealham, Iain Henderson, Ryan Baird, Jack Conan, Conor Murray, Ciaran Frawley

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