George Ford one of seven dropped by England for Ireland clash


"I think I've made every statement that I need to make on it".

"And what's at stake is a fantastic opportunity not just to achieve a Grand Slam, but to go a year unbeaten - we wouldn't have dreamed of that this time last year".

"He picked up a couple of bangs in the Scotland victory, so we're just easing him back into the week".

An RFU spokeswoman said: "Eddie has apologised for his inappropriate remarks, and the RFU is also very sorry for any offence caused and will apologise to the IRFU and WRU". "Those words don't impact on how we play or how his team plays and that's our focus". "I sincerely mean that", Jones said.

England back rower Sam Simmonds believes a chance to avenge last year's Six Nations defeat at Ireland was the flawless incentive for the outgoing champions to end their poor campaign on a positive note.

He said: "You're on the wrong page if you're looking for that to motivate you".

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Jones on Wednesday expressed his remorse for the comments.

"I know Marius; I would have no hesitation in standing by his integrity. I don't think it will affect this decision making".

Ireland have already been crowned Six Nations champions and will win a second Grand Slam this weekend if they beat an England side reeling from successive defeats at the hands of Scotland and France.

England has lost back-to-back games, against Scotland and France.

But Schmidt has opted to bring him back in for the Twickenham clash favouring his mobility over Toner's lineout strength.

'It's something I'll reconsider after he game, the only thing I am anxious about at the moment is the game.

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"I don't care if it's 3-0!"

Schmidt added: "there is a sense of anticipation, a sense of nervousness".

Ireland: Rob Kearney, Keith Earls, Garry Ringrose, Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale, Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray; Cian Healy, Rory Best (capt), Tadhg Furlong, Iain Henderson, James Ryan, Peter O'Mahony, Dan Leavy, CJ Stander.

Replacements 16-23: S Cronin, J McGrath, A Porter, D Toner, J Murphy, K Marmion, J Carbery, J Larmour.

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