England's Ford ready to burst out of bubble against Ireland

·2-min read
England fly-half George Ford

George Ford wants England have to "leave it all out there" when they face Ireland in a Six Nations finale that will mark the end of more than two months of living under coronavirus restrictions.

Saturday's match in Dublin will be the last time Eddie Jones' senior squad are set to be together until the autumn, with a number of England players expected to be selected by the British and Irish Lions should their series against South Africa go ahead.

The reigning Six Nations champions can no longer mount a successful title defence following defeats by Scotland and Wales.

Another reverse would mean England had equalled their overall worst Six Nations run of three losses in a Championship.

They will kick off, however, at Lansdowne Road on the back of a morale-boosting 23-20 victory over France, with England having also won their last four matches against Ireland.

England prop Ellis Genge has spoken about the psychological toll imposed by nine weeks of living under strict Covid-19 protocols at the team's hotel in London.

But Ford said the fact the squad have spoken about those issues as a group leaves them well-placed to face an Ireland side coached by Andy Farrell, the father of England captain Owen.

"We want to finish really well and off the back of last week's performance we want to go out there again and really put out a good performance and get a good result," Ford said.

"We want to leave it all out there. It's our last game together for a while. We spoke about all those sort of things to make sure we make the most of this."

Ford added: "In terms of emotionally leaving it out there, we will be doing that as a team. It has been almost nine weeks now of being under these Covid restrictions and there are lads with families and kids.

"People miss home very much, so I imagine the thought of being able to go back to family and loved ones is nice."

Ireland haven't defeated England since 2018 and they appear a work in progress under Andy Farrell, who succeeded Joe Schmidt as head coach after the team's disappointing showing at the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

Nevertheless Ford, up against Ireland fly-half Johnny Sexton in a potential Lions 'audition', expects England to face a tactical, as well as physical, challenge on Saturday.

"Ireland have got some brilliant attacking players who understand the right time to keep ball in hand and they understand where the space is. That makes them a very dangerous team.

"The key is that not one Test match has ever been the same as the one before. We have to make sure we are ready whenever that opportunity comes."

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