Will England pull off a shock result?

Former England captain Dylan Hartley believes there is an Ireland weakness that could be exploited by England this weekend in the Six Nations. He highlighted Andrew Porter’s scrum technique as something head coach Steve Borthwick could highlight to the referee before the match.

The two nations will compete on Saturday at Twickenham, where Georgian Nika Amashukeli will be taking charge of the clash. The referee will be having meetings with both head coaches before the game where they can highlight things to watch out for from the other teams.

Related: Six Nations referees

Hartley was asked by Gambling Zone about Porter’s scrum technique. “I’ve seen a couple of the clips,” Hartley said. “The problem with that is, there has been a bit of attention on it. If Steve Borthwick thinks there is an issue with it, he will highlight that to the referees.

“There’s a meeting the day before a test match where the ref will meet the captain and the coaches of each team. England can submit as many clips as they want to the referee during that meeting. But for those clips to have any kind of meaningful impact, England will want to select the two or three things that will have the greatest effect on the game.

“For example, if England think that Ireland are consistently offside, then they will highlight six clips of the first offender next to the ruck a foot offside multiple times throughout a game and ask the ref to look out for that during the match. It’s all about planting a seed in the ref’s mind.

“If they think that Andrew Porter’s scrummaging is giving Ireland an unfair advantage, they will highlight that, but, equally, can England expose it? This is where a player like Dan Cole is worth his weight in gold because of what he is doing at set piece time. It’s whether or not Steve Borthwick thinks this is an actual problem or opportunity for England.”

The match will be a tough match for England, who despite being at home will be the underdogs. They have won two out of three matches so far but were exposed by Scotland in the last round.

Ireland, meanwhile, are targeting the first back-to-back Grand Slams in the Six Nations era.

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