THREE KEY CLASHES | WITH KYRAN BRACKEN

MATT BANAHAN v BRIAN O’DRISCOLL
Ireland’s talisman hasn’t been at his match-winning best of late, but England will know what O’Driscoll is capable of come the big occasion. Banahan will add something to England’s midfield and despite the experience he brings, I can’t see Mike Tindall being missed hugely.

SHONTAYNE HAPE V GORDON D’ARCY
England’s Kiwi-born centre has come in for some harsh and undeserved stick of late. He’s not flashy but he makes very few mistakes and does all the basics well. The same cannot be said of the experienced D’Arcy, who has been having an awful time of things recently and looks to be way past his best.

DYLAN HARTLEY v RORY BEST
There were signs that Hartley was losing his way against Scotland and England needed the steadying hand of Steve Thompson to get them over the line. Ireland pride themselves on their set-piece prowess with Best’s accuracy at the lineout the key.

VERDICT:

England are the more settled and confident unit and I can see them winning a tight game by five points.
Kyran Bracken was speaking courtesy of GamePlan Solutions: Managing high profile and popular sport stars; Speakers, Leaders, Motivators, Ambassadors www.gameplansolutions.co.uk