- Skipper wary of Irish threat in RBS 6 Nations decider
- England on track for sixth Grand Slam in seven years
Photo: Getty Images
England Women’s skipper Katy McLean says Ireland will be out to spoil their RBS 6 Nations Grand Slam party on Saturday when the two sides meet at Esher RFC.
McLean, whose side are targeting a record seventh successive crown and a sixth Grand Slam in seven years, says England must be at their best when they face an on-form Ireland side, who are enjoying their best Six Nations ever.
“Ireland are really performing at the moment,” said the Darlington Mowden Park Sharks fly-half. “You can’t underestimate them at all. The game is on St. Patrick’s Day and they will undoubtedly be coming here to spoil our party. We are going to have to do our homework well this week and be really up for it on Saturday to achieve want we want to achieve.”
Although England are the only unbeaten side in the championship so far, Ireland could still take the title if they defeat England and score 24 points or more. They have suffered just one defeat this season, losing by just a point away to France, whilst also scoring some impressive tries on their journey to the final round.
McLean added: “As a captain it is great to know we are not a side that leaks points as we are not going to be able to get away with that against Ireland. Our defence has been outstanding this season; we haven’t conceded a try yet, just two penalties and that just shows our determination even though we have been tested.
"The Irish will be aware of that but at the same time we know what they can do and if we can build on the performance we put in against France last weekend then we’ll be in a good place.”
Tickets for the England versus Ireland game can be purchased on the day or online at http://www.esherrugby.com/ticket_sales.html, priced £10 for adults, £5 for Under 16s. Rugby fans can also watch the match live on www.rfu.com/englandwomenlive.com
England team to face Ireland (Esher RFC, KO 2pm)
15 Emily Scarratt (Lichfield), 14 Katherine Merchant (Worcester), 13 Rachael Burford (Richmond), 12 Kimberley Oliver (Bristol), 11 Kay Wilson (Bristol), 10 Katy Mclean (C) (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), 9 Natasha Hunt (Lichfield); 1 Laura Keates (Worcester), 2 Victoria Fleetwood (Lichfield), 3 Sophie Hemming (Bristol), 4 Rowena Burnfield (Richmond), 5 Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), 6 Marlie Packer (Bristol), 7 Margaret Alphonsi (VC) (Saracens), 8 Sarah Hunter (Lichfield)
Replacements: 16 Amy Turner (Richmond), 17 Rochelle Clark (Worcester), 18 Rebecca Essex (Richmond), 19 Hannah Gallagher (Saracens), 20 La Toya Mason (Wasps), 21 Ceri Large (Worcester), 22 Michaela Staniford (Wasps)