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Foden seeks 'something special'

Ben Foden has been inspired by his new-born daughter to "do something special" for England in Saturday's RBS 6 Nations clash with Ireland.

Foden became a father for the first time on Tuesday when his fiancee, Una Healy from pop group The Saturdays, gave birth to Aoife Belle.

"One of the things Una said to me when we were going into the hospital was to make sure I got back here to play at the weekend because you only have a certain amount of time in your life to perform at these heights," Foden said. "I am looking for a bit of extra motivation to do something special for Aoife."

He added: "When she grows up I want to be able to tell her about the time she was born, that I hopefully went on to play in a great match against Ireland and this new-look England took another step forward and got the win and she was my inspiration for me scoring five tries and breaking some kind of world record.

"Knowing I have Una and Aoife waiting for me at home when I get back is hopefully going to make me perform to a new level."

Aoife Belle has one English parent and one Irish, but Foden insists there is only one team she will be supporting at Twickenham on Saturday.

"Definitely England, she is a daddy's girl," said Foden, who celebrated his first try at the World Cup with a cradle-rocking gesture.

Foden briefly considered having Aoife's name stitched into his boots for Saturday's game, but that would mean breaking with a superstition, saying: "I could do it but I only change my boots after we lose. I have got a blue pair at the moment and hopefully I will be wearing them for a while to come."

Foden missed training on Tuesday to be at the birth and is still coming to terms with life as a father and the change in perspective it brings but he insists beating Ireland will be the only thing on his mind come five o'clock on Saturday evening.

"So far it is a little bit surreal if I am honest, it probably hasn't really sunk in," Foden said. "It was emotional when she popped out. I watched her open her eyes for the first time and take in the surroundings. To know that you have created this baby with your partner and now you are going to have to take care of her for the next 18 years is pretty daunting, but we are both delighted."

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