Marcus Smith: England must stand up to Ireland in final Six Nations clash of 2023 | Rugby Union News
England will face Ireland in pursuit of the Six Nations Grand Slam in Dublin on Saturday; Steve Borthwick’s side are looking to bounce back from a humiliating 53-10 loss to France at Twickenham; Ollie Lawrence is unavailable against Ireland after the center suffered a hamstring injury in the loss to France
By PA Sports
Last update: 03/13/23 22:42
Marcus Smith demanded England “stand up and fight” in their final Six Nations Grand Slam game against Ireland in Dublin on Saturday.
Smith sees the St. Patrick’s Day showdown at the Aviva Stadium as a ‘whiplash’, on the basis that no one is giving England a chance to upset after they crash out against France 53- 10 against France at Twickenham at the weekend.
Another failure against Ireland on Saturday would see England finish with just two wins for a third successive Six Nations campaign, but Smith insists the team will fight.
“We’re going through a tough time right now and it’s perfect for us,” said the Harlequins flyhalf.
“We have to improve quickly because the challenge is not much bigger than Ireland in Dublin.
“There’s only one way to go now and that’s to get up and fight as hard as you can and play as hard as you can for the shirt.
“We talked about sticking together because there’s going to be a lot of noise and a lot of pressure on us. We need to get closer instead of falling apart.
Steve Borthwick has selected a 36-man squad for England’s Six Nations final against Ireland as they look to bounce back from a humiliating 53-10 loss to France.
“It’s a big test of our unity as a team and our resolve. There’s no better week for that than a free kick to Ireland.
“Time is against us, but I believe we still have time. With the characters we have in the group, we can change things very quickly.
“We now have a week to right some wrongs and we need to get on the same page quickly.”
England head coach Steve Borthwick tries to stay positive after heavy loss to France
France amassed seven tries as they beat England at Twickenham, inflicting their hosts’ heaviest defeat in the tournament since its inception in 1882.
“We didn’t build the week to lose like this,” said Smith, whose return to flyhalf quickly turned into a nightmare as England were pulverized in the contact zone.
“We’re going to look at our individual performances and the team performances because, with where we want to go in the next six months and in the years to come, it wasn’t good enough.
“We will work as hard as we can this week to be better, but it’s a good indicator of where we are on this journey.”
Ollie Lawrence was ruled out of the Six Nations climax with a hamstring injury, putting Manu Tuilagi in the frame to fill the vacant inside center position.