Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 August 2014

Rowntree ready for revenge mission

Graham Rowntree

England's quest for revenge will ensure Saturday's final Rugby World Cup warm-up match against Ireland is anything but a friendly, according to scrum coach Graham Rowntree.

Five months ago, England had their Grand Slam ambitions shattered at the Aviva Stadium as Ireland produced a ferocious performance to win 24-8.

"This game is definitely not a friendly," he said. "We have not forgotten what they did to us over there. We got well beaten that day and that is in the back of our minds. It will be fuelling our fires at the weekend, that's for sure."

"That's the beauty of playing a game like this against Ireland so close to getting on the plane.

He added: "We are purposely playing this close to the World Cup so we get on the plane battle hardened. That means coming off the back of an intense game with a win.

"We were frustrated with that loss in Wales. You only had to look at the gaffer's (Martin Johnson's) face after the game. I'd think Ireland are disappointed with their losses so far.

"If we lose it will put a bit of pressure on us. It would be nothing we can't handle - but it will put a bit of pressure on us for sure."

England failed to live with Ireland's intensity in the Six Nations meeting and that performance gave Johnson, Rowntree and the management some serious food for thought.

"They brought an intensity to the game, to the breakdown and set-piece that they hadn't really brought all tournament. They saved that one for us," said Rowntree.

"We have had a good look at that video in the training camp and it has given us a few things to work on."

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