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Tuesday 19 June 2018

Ireland to stand brave

Best calls on senior players to seal first Grand Slam since 2009

KEY MAN: Ireland outhalf Johnny Sexton will be central to sealing the Grand Slam today at Twickenham. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
KEY MAN: Ireland outhalf Johnny Sexton will be central to sealing the Grand Slam today at Twickenham. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Ireland will turn England green with envy should they clinch the Grand Slam to parade the Six Nations and Triple Crown trophies around Twickenham on this St Patrick’s Day.

Captain Rory Best has called on the senior internationals to stand up and do what Brian O’Driscoll, Paul O’Connell and Ronan O’Gara did for the hooker and Rob Kearney in the Grand Slam season of 2009.

“It was just about how the senior players and key players in the group conducted themselves and how they filled you with confidence that we were ready to go back then.

“It has to be a little bit the same now,” said Best.

Coach Joe Schmidt has placed his faith in four rookies, Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale, James Ryan and Dan Leavy, who have under ten caps with three more on the bench in Andrew porter, Joey Carbery and Jordan Larmour.

“There are going to be some young guys in there who are going to look to see how the likes of Johnny (Sexton), Conor (Murray), Pete (O’Mahony) and (Keith) Earlsy, Cian (Healy), guys who have played a lot of rugby, to see how they are.

“It’s important that we go through the same routine that we have for the previous four games.”

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