Beware 'tenacious' Irish, warns England defence coach Mitchell

·2-min read
Ireland back row forward CJ Stander and his team-mates will battle to the end of their Autumn Nations Cup clash at Twickenham warned the hosts defence coach John Mitchell
Ireland back row forward CJ Stander and his team-mates will battle to the end of their Autumn Nations Cup clash at Twickenham warned the hosts defence coach John Mitchell

England can expect the Irish to battle to the final whistle of Saturday's Autumn Nations Cup match at Twickenham because they are tenacious and "never go away", said defence coach John Mitchell.

Ireland's last victory at the home of English rugby came on a memorable day in 2018 when they sealed the country's third Five/Six Nations Grand Slam.

Both sides meet on the back of winning their opening games of the Autumn Nations Cup.

England beat Georgia 40-0 whilst the Irish humbled out-of-form Wales 32-9.

"Ireland are a tenacious side and a side that never go away, so you have to fight to the end," said former New Zealand head coach Mitchell.

"You have to initiate it, you have to get in first.

"It doesn't always fall your way and you have to win the big moments."

Mitchell, who has been in his present role since 2018, says the team that gels quicker should emerge victorious.

"We expect it to be an excellent game with a whole load of different contests and many individual battles," he said.

"Ultimately the team that's most cohesive, gets in first and wins those big moments will give themselves the best opportunity.

"The past gives you some information, some of it is relevant, but not a lot of it.

"What's relevant now is that you have two different teams in a different context and both wanting to win the Autumn Nations Cup."

The combative Mitchell is especially delighted in anticipating a highly physical tussle in the scrum.

"They've gone for a big back row and a big back five," said Mitchell.

"They obviously want to play a power game and take us on, which is great. We can't wait," added the 56-year-old New Zealander.

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