Vunipola says England will improve following Ireland defeat

Victory on Saturday will also help England to claim back-to-back grand slams, and is a feat not even the World Cup winning team under Clive Woodward could manage.

The victory for the Irish, set up by a first half Iain Henderson try and the boot of Johnny Sexton, means the All Blacks still have a share of the tier one record for consecutive wins. "In fact it was overdue.", Woodward wrote in his column in the Daily Mail on Sunday. Our Leicester boys who are away with England haven't been back to us since the Scotland but I don't think they'd be talking about it either.

You are proud of your players, you have worked very hard with them and you see how hard they work. "Last year we were nervous and I expect us to be nervous this year". "That would have brought its own pressure".

"New Zealand, as Ireland have shown, are there for the taking", he said, referencing the Lions' chances this summer.

"For the second time in five months the Irish can go against national stereotype and act as party poopers".

"What was disappointing for the England manager is that Ireland did not have to take their game to the stratospheric levels they had achieved at Soldier Field in Chicago".

It was England's first defeat in 18 Tests under Jones and the Australian said: "I'm disappointed and I take full responsibility for the loss today".

14 - England have won 14 successive home games in the Six Nations, equalling their best-ever run in the competition between 1998 and 2004.

- England have won just twice in eight visits to Dublin in the Six Nations (since 2000), the first victory came in their 2003 Grand Slam and the other a decade later. "We know we have Paddy to come on and perform really well, but you don't want players coming off unnecessarily".

"We've prepared very nicely this week on the back of a good result". The message was to enjoy it because even the best team in the world couldn't get to 19 wins.

By some quirk of fate, New Zealand are one of the only the sides that England haven't faced on their unbeaten run, a match-up which the Rugby Football Union (RFU) has confirmed could happen later this year.

"There are not too many, the All Blacks are the only ones and we have been doing that since the last World Cup".

"You know, you look forward to seeing those guys step up but, as I always say, it is never linear, it never just moves upwards".

Production line This time next year, augmenting the production line from within the four provincial systems, Bundee Aki, Tom McCartney and Tyler Bleyendaal all become eligible.

"Whereas England had nothing new to offer, Ireland had flipped around their game and England were made to look tactically second best, at times nearly naïve".

  • Julie Sanders