SIX NATIONS PREVIEW

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It’s a family affair at Twickenham on Sunday with England hosting Ireland who are playing for the Triple Crown trophy.  Andy Farrell’s team will come face to face with an English side captained by his son Owen. The former England Rugby Union and League international described the fixture as “Another big game”.

Speaking in 2008 when both Farrell Junior and Senior were on the books of Eddie Jones’s Saracens, the Irish coach said jokingly about his son; “If we were playing tidily winks tomorrow, I still wouldn’t let him win”

England make four changes to the side which beat Scotland fortnight ago whilst Ireland have replaced the injured Ian Henderson with the veteran Lock Forward Devin Toner. It’s a pressure game for England coach Jones whose team have failed to fire since walloping the “All Blacks” in the World Cup in October. Ireland on the other hand have shown that they are not a good tournament team but very competitive in the Six Nations format.

A war of words has erupted between the Welsh and French camps ahead of their clash in Cardiff on Saturday. Welsh Prop Wyn Jones said he expected the French side to “cheat” by collapsing the scrum, with French coach Fabien Galthie branding the comments “a lack of respect” for the whole country.

France have made just one change from last time out against Italy. While Wales have made two changes to the starting line up – Gareth Davies starts at scrum-half and Ross Moriarty comes into the pack.

Meanwhile question marks remain over Italy’s continued participation in the Tournament having lost 21 matches straight since they beat Saturday’s opposition in Murrayfield almost five years ago. Perhaps the time has come to allow Georgia or the winners of Europe’s second tier competition to compete with bottom team in the Six Nations in a relegation play off to freshen things up. Italian stalwart Sergio Parassi finishes his illustrious career at the end of this campaign.

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