Six Nations: Ireland win 2018 title

JOHNNY SEXTON has urged his Ireland team-mates to upgrade their Six Nations title to a Grand Slam.

The Grand Slam is in sight, and Ireland will come at England next week with everything they've got.

And in the Test arena, regardless of the opposition, you can not expect to drop as many balls or commit as many errors as Ireland did and not be punished - Scotland, to their credit, took full advantage to record their first victory of this Six Nations.

Woodward also said that England flyhalf George Ford was the "biggest worry of all" as he failed to make an impact for the second consecutive game, saying that the 24-year-old has been struggling to impose himself in big matches.

Eddie Jones put the onus on England's breakdown problems not on his selections but on the players' failure to adapt to the referees.

England have gone from champs to chumps in the space of a fortnight after suffering Six Nations defeats to Scotland and France.

"Everyone knows the size of the challenge, they haven't lost there under Eddie Jones", said Best.

"If we'd had a bit of luck against France, we'd have won the game".

France, who narrowly lost their first two matches against Ireland and Scotland, defended furiously throughout and it became obvious that England, who needed a bonus-point win to keep their title hopes alive, would not score the four tries they needed.

England went into the game knowing that only a bonus-point victory would prevent the Irish, with four wins from four after an earlier 28-8 triumph over Scotland, winning the championship.

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"England today, because they are trying to play so much shape with the out-the-back passes, there isn't a lot of physicality to how they are playing".

"We've got to find ways to cope with it, it's as simple as that".

"We didn't learn quick enough, I'm not 100 per cent sure why".

Maro Itoje and other England forwards enjoyed last season's laws permitting a degree of mucking around on the wrong side of rucks but even before this season's altered interpretations, Jones admitted he would love a foraging No 7.

Woodward, who led England to World Cup glory in 2003, said that there were "serious questions to answer" after the team's mediocre run of just two wins in the tournament. "I don't think we should get too carried away or too melodramatic about where we are". There was rarely any danger of a repeat display when, having made 10 changes, in a bid to develop squad depth ahead of next year's World Cup, Gatland saw Wales overpower Italy 38-14 in Cardiff on Sunday following back-to-back defeats by England and Ireland.

The unpalatable fact is that the flaws exploited by an average but physically powerful France team were not ones that were a surprise.

"We're being exposed in certain areas at the moment".

"We know how hard it will be [to win the Grand Slam]".

Scotland are actually happy that the ref is Wayne Barnes, who they think will want a contest at the breakdown.

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