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Ireland versus England: Men’s Six Nations- At the start of this year’s Six Nations tournament, the prediction was that England would roll through the first four contests undefeated and meet Ireland to decide the championship. Few perceived that Ireland would be 4-0, and England a mediocre 2-2. None would have guessed that the Irish would claim the title at the end of the fourth round, and Saturday’s game on St Paddy’s Day weekend would merely decide second place, which is currently, a three-way battle among Wales, France, and England.
Ireland can win its third ever Grand Slam with a win on Saturday. It was this same Ireland XV that last year ended England’s unbeaten skein of 18 consecutive triumphs, and denied the Red Roses their second in row Six Nations Grand Slam.
Much hype and excitement surround this match at Twickenham, where a sellout is predicted. Scalpers are asking a hefty £4,400 ($6,116) for a ticket. The television broadcasters estimate a near record setting viewing audience.
England have not lost three consecutive Six Nations matches since 2006. A poor Red Roses showing will serve to exacerbate national fears that England’s 2019 Rugby World Cup aspirations are fraught with possible failure.
Kick off at 2:45 GMT.
Other Six Nations matches are:
Wales (2-2) home against France (2-2)
Italy (0-4) host Scotland (2-2)
Women’s Six Nations Finale – Today, France can clinch the title and a Grand Slam (Their second in the past five-years) if Les Bleues defeat Wales, a lower ranked side, away at the Parc Eirlas Stadium in Colwyn Bay. England will secure second place if they beat Ireland at home today in the Ricoh Arena, Coventry. Italy, which enjoyed their first victory this year over Wales last week, host Scotland at the Stadio Plebiscito in Padua.
Rugby Europe Championship – Spain will claim the 2019 RWC Europe 1 spot by defeating Belgium on Saturday. Other contests will pit rivals Georgia against Romania. Germany welcome Russia in the third match.