A place in history awaits England as they face Ireland on Saturday in the climax to this season’s Six Nations.
Eddie Jones’ side stand on the brink of back-to-back Grand Slams, and a world record 19th consecutive Test victory – overtaking the mark set by New Zealand in 2015-16.
In a time of political shocks and major overhauls, no rugby fan could have envisaged the turnaround in England’s fortunes since Jones’ appointment following the 2015 World Cup debacle.
Humiliated on home soil, the Red Rose have won every single game since, and another in Dublin tomorrow would see them cement their place in rugby folklore.
With England garlanded after their rampant 61-21 victory over Scotland, what more motivation could Ireland need to bring their opponents back down to earth?
Defeat to Wales last week ended Irish championship hopes, but Joe Schmidt’s men still have the potential to cause an upset, especially on their own turf.
They did, of course, end that All Blacks run in Chicago last year – and they also denied England a Grand Slam on this ground in 2011.
The 22-year-old centre Garry Ringrose, a potential Lions bolter, has lit up the Six Nations so far, and will hope to thrill the Aviva crowd on St Patrick’s weekend.
He faces an intriguing battle with last week’s hat-trick hero Jonathan Joseph, who showcased his finishing ability as he dotted down three times at HQ.
Jones’ winning mentality has meant England are never satisfied – they performed brilliantly in the dead-rubber against Australia last summer, and they seem so intent on making history tomorrow that I can’t see them failing.
I see it being quite comfortable – buy England supremacy at 6 with Sporting Index.
Just as last week, I see Jones’ men flying out the traps, and recommend backing England HT/FT at 11/10 with 188BET.
Buy England supremacy – 6 (Sporting Index)
England HT/FT – 11/10 (188BET)