Best: Past record will count for nothing
Rory Best insists Ireland's outstanding record against England will be meaningless when the RBS 6 Nations rivals clash at Twickenham tonight.
The Irish are hoping to celebrate St Patrick's Day in style by humbling Stuart Lancaster's side and thereby finishing championship runners-up. Seven victories in the last eight meetings, including three of the previous four at Twickenham, ensure Ireland enter the fixture full of confidence.
But Best stresses recent history will count for nothing when the final match of the 2012 Six Nations kicks off. The 29-year-old said: "Unfortunately our record won't have any impact - those games are in the past. It's all about what happens at 5pm."
He added: "As far as we're concerned we're playing the reigning Six Nations champions in their own back yard.
"They've won three of their four outings so we know they're a very tough team. We're looking forward to it but we're under no illusions over the size of the challenge. The past is the past."
Ireland have been quick to stir the pot ahead of their trip to London. Stephen Ferris accused the English of being "bad losers", while Rob Kearney stated recent Irish dominance of the fixture is because they are the superior team.
But Best refused to pour more fuel on to the fire, instead adopting a more tactful line.
"We know that in past we've had some very tough games against England in the past and we expect nothing different," the Ulster hooker said.
"At this level nobody particularly likes losing because we're very competitive players. You only get to the top of sport by being competitive.
"I've always found that if it's been a tough, hard game, you have that respect for each other."