Six Nations - Ireland v England as it happened

England defeat Ireland at the Aviva Stadium in the Six Nations to win their second consecutive match in the tournament.

10 February 2013 Last updated at 17:36 GMT

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As it happened

  1. 1734: 

    John Inverdale and his chums have disappeared from our screens which means it is time to end this live text commentary. I would wave you goodbye, but that seems pointless as no-one would be able to see me. Thanks for joining us - there will be more Six Nations in two weeks' time. Cheerio for now.

  2. 1731: 

    "A famous victory in testing conditions," is how BBC Sport's chief sports writer Tom Fordyce saw the match - which was the lowest scoring game in Six Nations history.


    Sam Huston on Twitter: "Wow - what a great performance by England but Ireland were shocking."

    Dave Foot on Twitter: "11 pens conceded each, but how many of England's were conceded in their own half? They didn't offer a kick at goal for 40+ mins."

    Andy Nicol, BBC Sport at the Aviva Stadium

    "At some point in this tournament France will click. They can click at any time, and if they do they could beat England. But they have a real problem at Twickenham, they get spooked there, and England will take a lot of confidence from today."

  5. 1724: 

    The last time an England side triumphed in a Six Nations encounter in Dublin, that team went on to win the Grand Slam and the World Cup. The latter competition is not within Stuart Lancaster's grasp this year, but a Six Nations clean sweep is. Will the down-and-out French ruin Lancaster and co's Grand Slam hopes?


    England captain Chris Robshaw on BBC Sport: "All week we'd spoken about what worked well the last time we played Ireland, and what didn't work well. We couldn't allow them to get a 20 minute head start.

    "Credit to Owen Farrell who kicked his goals, but from one minute to 80 the squad were top notch. We tightened the game up, ran down the clock and had to be smart. It's a great day.

    "Farrell is brilliant at the moment. He's got a great repertoire of skills, but he's got a great team around him who keep pushing him to get better. We're not going to get carried away."

  7. 1714: 

    So, that's a first Six Nations victory for England in Dublin since 2003. Reason enough to celebrate. It's the first time no tries were scored in a match between the two sides since 1984. Nick Youngs (Tom and Ben's dad) was the scrum half on that day.

    England players celebrate

    Dave Graham-Woollard on Twitter: "First time for a while that England have beaten anyone on penalties!"

    Keith Wood, BBC Sport at the Aviva Stadium

    "Cian Healy should have been carded immediately but I didn't think it was a red card. But I think he will probably get banned."

    Andy Nicol, BBC Sport at the Aviva Stadium

    "I think Healy's will become a red in the citing. It doesn't look good and he knew what he was doing. It was reckless, and I would have said red."


    Ireland's Declan Kidney on BBC Sport: "England played a good pressure game, capitalised on our errors and took their points well, so fair play to them.

    "We had a few unforced errors and they kept England in the game for long periods, and they crept into our half and were able to gain that six-point lead by half-time. These game are always on really tight margins and today it went against us."


    Damian Townsend on Twitter: "Terrible game, weather the winner. That said professional job by England."

    Hannah Roynon-Jones on Twitter: "Barrett and Farrell outstanding, Robshaw a deserved MoM."

    Alex Barston on Twitter: "You're not giving Ben Youngs enough credit. Outstanding today and a shoe in for no.9 for the Lions."

    Matthew Southcombe on Twitter: "I never thought I'd see the day when scrum time was actually the highlight of a match. Healy v Cole was brilliant."

    Jeremy Guscott, BBC Sport at the Aviva Stadium

    "I like tries and flair but you have to accept the conditions meant the players had to kick more and chase more and tackle harder."


    Ireland captain Jamie Heaslip on BBC Sport: "The team that made the fewer amount of mistakes won. They played the conditions very well, smothered us when we had ball and made our lives very hard. In fairness to England they put a lot of pressure on us and we'll have to look at ourselves a little bit."

    Keith Wood, BBC Sport at the Aviva Stadium

    "The amount of unforced errors from the first half in particular took any little bit of momentum away from Ireland. England had huge patience and one they got higher up they were able to knock the points over."

  16. 1700: 

    John Inverdale has just said goodbye to the viewers on BBC1 - but no need to get yourself into a real tizzy as Jeremy Guscott, Jonathan Davies and Keith Wood are chatting away on the Red Button.


    England's Owen Farrell on BBC Sport: "If you practise enough it's only another kick. I kick thousands of them. Today was massive, and it was unbelievably exciting to come over here. Conditions out there weren't great but we rolled our sleeves up and got stuck in. We did the little things really well."


    England coach Stuart Lancaster on BBC Sport: "I think we had a good first half. At the start of the second we were put under a bit of pressure, but we grew in strength towards the end of the game and ultimately deserved the win.

    "I'm chuffed for Owen Farrell but also the maturity of the whole team. They've come away from home and have got the 12-6 win, and we'll take it.

    "The stakes have always been high but they go even higher with France coming to Twickenham next off the back of a defeat yesterday. That game will be massive."

    Jeremy Guscott, BBC Sport at the Aviva Stadium

    "Owen Farrell is the iceman, there is an edge about him. He likes to be in amongst it. There is more of a personality in terms of being in your face than Jonny Wilkinson, who was more measured, but the end result is about the same."

  20. 1655: 

    England's Grand Slam adventure continues and, so far, it has been most awesome, bodacious even. Stuart Lancaster's men, the only unbeaten side in the tournament, will next host France in Twickenham.

  21. 1653: 

    England's players line up to form a guard for the hosts, who quickly depart after an error-strewn performance. Not many moments of adventure to recall - if any - but, sometimes, beef and brawn is as compelling as dazzling dynamism.

    Keith Wood at the Aviva Stadium, BBC Sport

    "That was brutal. Hit after hit, and bodies on the line stuff."

    Jonathan Davies at the Aviva Stadium, BBC Sport

    "England deservedly won it. More composed, fewer mistakes, and converted their pressure into points. They were more controlled throughout."

    Brian Moore, BBC Sport at the Aviva Stadium

    "Ireland were the authors of their own misfortune in the first half, but England resisted the Ireland momentum in the second half."

  25. 80 mins: 
    FULL-TIME- Ireland 6-12 England

    No last-minute mistakes from England as the visitors grab their own line-out, allowing Ben Youngs to boot the ball dead. The referee blows his whistle. Stuart Lancaster jumps for joy. Captain Chris Robshaw flexes his biceps.

  26. 79 min: 

    Momentum swinging this way and that - but it's England who seem to have the last word as they steal Irish ball and Farrell kicks into touch. it's nervy.

  27. 78 mins: 

    Declan Kidney, arms folded, is on his feet. Ireland disrupt England's scrum. Stuart Lancaster raises his arms despairingly. O'Gara kicks down field...


    Sam in Cardiff on text: "Surely O'Gara is past his sell-by date. It is time for Madigan to get his chance if Sexton's injured."

  29. 77 mins: 

    Rory Best and Cian Healy leave the stage, which means Ireland have changed two thirds of their front-row. Irish misadventure inside their own 22. Fabulous work from the workhorse that is Brad Barritt as he earns his team a scrum in an attacking position. All change in the English front-row as David Wilson comes on for Dan Cole.


    Chris Harvey on Twitter: "The referee has had a poor game today but neither side have done him any favours. It's been a rather irritating and petulant affair."


    Paul Clarkson on Twitter: "I love Farrell's quizzical look at the ball in his pre-kick routine - like a cat watching an injured bird..."

    Brian Moore, BBC Sport at the Aviva Stadium

    "The last throws of the dice from Ireland now. Three points alone will not be enough. England just need to get hold of the ball and let the clock tick down."

  33. 74 mins: 
    MISSED PENALTY- Ireland 6-12 England

    Ronan O'Gara is captured holding on in the tackle. Tricky touchline kick for Farrell. The outside-half takes his time, much to the home fans' annoyance, and misses by a whisker.

    By the way, Courtney Laws has left the field. The lock appeared to injure himself while making a tackle. Tom Waldrom is the man who replaces him.

  34. 72 mins: 

    Moments before O'Gara's miss there was an endless beating of a drum from a spirited supporter, who ignited a pocket of fans into a sing-song. A muted atmosphere in Dublin at the moment, although the Irish forwards make a few yards from a maul before Ireland decide to kick away possession, giving Mike Brown the chance to stretch his legs.

  35. 70 mins: 
    MISSED PENALTY- Ireland 6-12 England

    Geoff Parling is penalised 30m right of the uprights. O'Gara nudges his effort wide of the posts. Nervous ripples around the Aviva.

    Brian Moore, BBC Sport at the Aviva Stadium

    "An error, a dropped ball that results in a kick through, could make all the difference. With the exception of Tuilagi, neither side has really looked like getting over the line."

  37. 67 mins: 

    Declan Kidney changes his pack, bringing on Donncha O'Callaghan and Chris Henry for Ryan and O'Brien. Haskell is back on the field, which means it's now 15 against 15 with England leading by six points. A betting man would say England are favourite from here on in.

  38. 65 mins: 
    PENALTY- Ireland 6-12 England

    Rob Kearney is the man penalised for failing to release after gathering Mike Brown's chip. Silence as Owen Farrell looks at the task in front of him. Whistles as he steps forward. It's a further three points to England, though.


    Andrew Rome on Twitter: "That's a howler of a ref decision!"

    Darren Bould on Twitter: "That is a disgrace! Haskell did everything possible to roll away and got sin-binned?"

    Richard Lee on Twitter: "Lucky that's only the first yellow card, England..."

    Phil Matthews, BBC Sport at the Aviva Stadium

    "England are putting the ball high and behind Ireland. They have got to get more territory."

  41. 63 mins: 
    PENALTY- Ireland 6-9 England

    Hello. What have we here. A try? No. Manu Tuilagi dashes towards the try line in a bid to grab Ben Youngs' tasty chip, but the ball just about evades him. Would have been a try had the centre caught it. Worry not the referee calls play back for an earlier infringement and Owen Farrell makes a further imprint on the scoreboard.

  42. 61 mins: 

    Whistles of discontent from the Dublin faithful as they suspect England of wasting time while Haskell is in the sin bin. Mike Brown gallops down the wing in an attempt to chase Owen Farrell's grubber. He can't get there before Rob Kearney, though. Nearest either team has come to a try. Line-out England in the danger zone.

  43. 58 mins: 
    PENALTY- Ireland 6-6 England

    Ah, Mr O'Gara. He knows how to kick at goal under pressure. The replacement outside-half's radar in fine working order as he drags his team level. A kick which acts like salt being rubbed into James Haskell's gashed nose.


    Andrew Scrutton on Twitter: "Hartley on - that will calm things down. Not."

    Brian Moore, BBC Sport at the Aviva Stadium

    "Haskell just made England's job a lot harder. He was moving away but he did kick the ball. He was trying to get away with one, and the referee's made his decision."

  46. 57 mins: 

    The Irish forwards, gravel for guts, inch forward. The home team's line-out now a well-oiled machine. Some daylight down the right wing for Gilroy... the crowd erupt into angry jeers - they've seen James Haskell kicking the ball away as he tries to get away from the base of the ruck. The referee thought it was deliberate.

  47. 56 mins: 

    England captain Chris Robshaw has made the most tackles in this game so far, with 11.

    Chris Robshaw
  48. 54 mins: 

    O'Gara is found dithering on his own 22, but manages to flip the ball back towards his own players and the hosts move it wide. But, hang on, Brian O'Driscoll is hobbling. Seems to have rolled his ankle while thrusting himself into a white-shirted wall. The former captain decides to stay on the pitch after some treatment on his dodgy ankle. Bravo.

    Phil Matthews, BBC Sport at the Aviva Stadium

    "Ireland have changed their tactics and they are putting boot to ball. Territory is king in this match, not possession."

  50. 51 mins: 

    Rare handling error from Brian O'Driscoll. The centre, defending his own line, looks up and sees Brad Barritt racing towards him and his response is to juggle the ball, before dropping it forward. Further changes for England. Dylan Hartley on for Tom Youngs. The Irish are galvanized. Sublime pick-pocketing from O'Brien and Murray gains 30m with a beautiful touch-finder.


    Eoin Walsh on Twitter: "Do I sense some doubt creeping into this young English side?"

    Ollie Brown on Twitter: "This game is setting a terrible example for any young people who play rugby. The professionals are stamping, punching and cheating..."

  52. 49 mins: 

    Sean O'Brien looking dazed and confused. You're in Dublin, Sean, playing rugby. For your country. He hops back onto his feet to take his place in the Irish line-out inside their own half. Best finds the leaping O'Mahony. The ball wriggles back to Murray, who kicks down field.

    BBC Radio 5 live's Matt Dawson at the Aviva Stadium, BBC Radio 5 live

    "Whoever was in charge of analysis for Ireland at half-time has done a cracking job."

  54. 48 mins: 

    The Irish forwards have summoned the energy of a horde of rhinos, directed by the old maestro Ronan O'Gara. There's fire running through Irish veins. Stuart Lancaster changes his line-up. Billy Twelvetrees making way for Manu Tuilagi and Courtney Laws is on for Joe Launchbury.

    Phil Matthews, BBC Sport at the Aviva Stadium

    "This has been as much a psychological as a physical contest."


    David Stone on Twitter: "After the fun points-fests of last weekend, good to see some blood and guts stuff in this and the Wales game!"

    Brian Moore, BBC Sport at the Aviva Stadium

    "Pressure. Pressure. This is what Ireland wanted to do in the first half but couldn't because they kept making the mistakes. And now the crowd are getting into this game..."

    BBC Radio 5 live's Matt Dawson at the Aviva Stadium, BBC Radio 5 live

    "Ireland have come out of that changing room with the bit between their teeth knowing they only have 40 minutes to buck their ideas up."

  59. 45 mins: 
    PENALTY- Ireland 3-6 England

    Dan Cole guilty of collapsing the scrum in sight of the posts. Up steps the old pro Ronan O'Gara and the replacement outside-half kicks it true. As if there was any doubt.


    Mike in Cambridge on text: "Re Healy: On a field of play an opponent is within their rights to try and break your leg? Outrageous."

    Sam from Cardiff on text: "No matter what you say about Cian Healy, he has the Lions loose-head spot in the bag currently."

  61. 43 mins: 

    An outstanding scrum for Ireland. Appreciative taps on the head for the front row men as their efforts earn the men in green a penalty, which results in a line-out a smidgeon outside the opposition's 22. Donnacha Ryan can't grab the slippery ball, though, and the Irish are backpedalling once again.

  62. 41 min: 

    Dark clouds are dumping their load on the Aviva pitch. Munsterman Ronan O'Gara is used to a few raindrops. He gets the second half under way and it takes just 30 seconds for Jamie Heaslip to infringe. First blast of the referee's whistle.

  63. 1559: 

    Perhaps now is not the time to mention it but in the last two matches between these sides, Ireland have failed to hit double figures in points and have been rendered scoreless when it comes to tries. We're committed to the match now, though, so let's see it through. The players are out. Thirty of them by my counting.

    Jonathan Davies, BBC Sport at the Aviva Stadium

    "I've been very impressed with England. When they get the ball in hand they look far more threatening. Ireland are really struggling to get over the gain line, England will be very happy at the moment."

    Jeremy Guscott, BBC Sport at the Aviva Stadium

    "The intensity has been huge - more than in the first week. You really have to concentrate to look after the ball in the contact area. England have really impressed me with their composure, they've not being rushed and it's hard to tell they've only got 250 odd caps to Ireland's 500."


    Mike Flynn on Twitter: "Not the best game to watch but encouraging stuff from England so far, proving they can do the ugly stuff as well."

    Ben Dunbar on Twitter: "There's more needle in this Ireland v England rugby game than a Lancastrian mill circa 1860!"

    Keith Wood, BBC Sport at the Aviva Stadium

    "It's a really great game. Even though there are errors all over the place, the intensity is there. You've got to be so focused in these conditions, discipline is about doing the simple things well when it's wet like this."


    Neil Dodsworth on Twitter: "Blimey, are Ireland sponsored by Teflon today?"

  69. 40 mins: 
    MISSED PENALTY- Ireland 0-6 England

    Unstinting aggression from the Irish as England barge into immovable objects. But, Ronan O'Gara (I think) holds onto the ball a tad too long which gives Farrell a chance to extend his team's lead. The outside-half, though, directs his effort just wide. Spectators remove their jaws from their laps after a rare miss.

    Brian Moore, BBC Sport at the Aviva Stadium

    "Ireland can't afford to make this many mistakes and expect to win a game."

  71. 37 mins: 

    Blood trickling from Joe Marler's earlobe after the prop's herculean effort in the scrum. He need not have bothered wasting his energy though as Tom Youngs fails to find his man in the line-out that followed. More argy-bargy. Cian Healy once again seems to be the guilty party. Replays showing the prop swinging an arm in the direction of a few white shirts. Naughty.

    BBC Radio 5 live's Matt Dawson at the Aviva Stadium, BBC Radio 5 live

    "The weather is just getting worse and worse as the minutes ticks by. The 6-0 gap feels like 16-0 from an England perspective at the moment."

  73. 34 mins: 

    Brian Moore has started moaning that international scrums have become a farce. Only took 30 minutes. Difficult to argue with the former England hooker after this weekend, though. The referee's whistle being used with regularity at the moment, mainly because so many mistakes are being made by each side. Nine handling errors by the Irish. Neither side seems to want possession.

  74. 34 mins: 
    Owen Farrell

    Two from two so far from Owen Farrell - and the six points remains the difference between the teams.


    Pundit and former Ireland flanker Philip Matthews on BBC One: "Jonathan Sexton going off is a big blow for Ireland."

  76. 31 mins: 

    Jamie Heaslip handling the ball as if it has been dipped in oil. England content to wait for the hosts to make mistakes, which they, more often than not, do. The ball goes loose. Ireland kick ahead. England penalised for holding on in the ruck. Worrying, though, as Jonathan Sexton is lying on the ground and needs to be helped to his feet. The outside-half seems to have injured his hamstring while kicking downfield. On comes Ronan O'Gara for his 127th cap.


    Pundit and former Ireland flanker Philip Matthews on BBC One: "Ireland need to be very careful in possession because they're giving the ball back to England cheaply. The ball is very hard won and being contested fiercely."

    BBC Radio 5 live's Denis Hickie at the Aviva Stadium

    "The Irish will be kicking themselves for giving away a cheap penalty like that, especially in what will not be a high-scoring game."


    Harry Sangwin on Twitter: "The score line doesn't do this match justice"

    Rory Stoves on Twitter: "England holding the Irish - just"

  80. 28 mins: 
    PENALTY- Ireland 0-6 England

    Donnacha Ryan is seen coming in from the side, which gives Owen Farrell another chance to take aim at the posts. Whistles as the outside-half's boot makes contact with the ball - but it makes no different as Farrell kicks it true.

  81. 26 mins: 

    Oh, Ireland. A promising position unravels as another handling error - their seventh of the match - ruins another sniff at the line. Groundsmen out on the field with their gardening tools to put tufts of grass back in their place. Ireland have made 106m so far in this contest, compared with 37m gained by their opponents. The men in green need to learn how to keep hold of the ball in contact, though.

  82. 24 mins: 

    Neither team too convincing in the set plays, which is something they must address as, it seems, this match will be decided by the forwards rather than the backs. The boys in green disrupt the English line-out. A sturdy scrum provides an attacking platform. A gap for Earls down the left...

  83. 22 mins: 

    The cameras capture England coach Stuart Lancaster muttering something or other as his team prepare for a scrum inside their own half. The pitch nearly disappearing underneath the pack. Ireland nick the ball but McCarthy knocks on. Another scrum. This match more about brawn rather than beauty.


    Martin Baldwin on Twitter: "That should have been a red card for Healy"

    See the incident at 14 mins for more on this.

  85. 19 mins: 

    Jamie Heaslip soars the highest in the Irish line-out, setting his forwards up to rumble on. Alex Goode, though, clears the danger with a kick to touch - but it's only a momentarily reprieve as the Irish form a maul after another successful line-out. Forward they go. Closer to the line they inch.

  86. 19 mins: 
    Ireland v England

    It is a scrappy and competitive match in testing conditions - and a few personal battles are starting to emerge as the match develops.


    Danny Twill on Twitter: "Well that's a citing for Cian Healy"

  88. 16 mins: 

    England steal another Irish lineout, which must be a worry for the hosts. A bit of aerial pin-pong ensues before Goode stands firm against one tackler and then chips ahead. An English lineout, though, which Parling wins, but the Irish turnover ball.

    Brian Moore, BBC Sport at the Aviva Stadium

    "That's a cheap shot from Cian Healy on Dan Cole. A shocking stamp on an ankle."


    Lea on Twitter: "already started yelling about the ireland v england game"

  91. 14 mins: 

    Here we go. Argy-bargy between the forwards. Brian Moore, in the commentary box, describes it as pushing and shoving. Replays show Cian Healy appearing to stamp Dan Cole, but the Irish prop seems to have got away with that. The referee tells the captains that the teams must calm down.

  92. 13 mins: 

    An Irish lineout provides Ireland with a lovely attacking platform inside their own 22. Conor Murray sets Earls free on the blindside but the replacement gallops straight towards a wall of defenders. An opportunity missed.

  93. 11 mins: 

    Simon Zebo hobbles off and is replaced by Keith Earls before England's forwards provide the flair men with a honeyed platform. Forward England go. Alex Goode has a sniff, attempts to find Chris Ashton on his outside but his pass goes straight into touch.

  94. 10 mins: 

    England needing to stem wave after wave of green-shirted attackers. But the ball goes loose via Craig Gilroy and Chris Ashton kicks ahead, but is unable to get the better of the covering Rob Kearney. Great chasing by the visitors, like a pack of hippopotamuses - and the English have a scrum in a promising position.

    Brian Moore, BBC Sport at the Aviva Stadium

    "With Farrell's pull-back there's a case for a yellow card - that was very cynical."

    BBC Radio 5 live's Denis Hickie at the Aviva Stadium

    "I am surprised the referee did not play an advantage for Ireland, who have not started this game particularly well. They look a little bit nervous."

  97. 8 mins: 

    A frantic and furious start. Sean O'Brien picks up from the ruck and dashes forward. Sexton opts for the up-and-under but Ben Youngs collects. Owen Farrell kicks but it is charged down. Farrell tackles off the ball and is penalised - and arguably lucky to avoid a yellow card. Ireland kick into touch for a line-out inside the opposition 22. A wipe of the ball with the towel before Best finds his man. The Irish rumble forward...

    Brian Moore, BBC Sport at the Aviva Stadium

    "The hack through shows, when Ireland do commit to wrecking tactics at the breakdown, it can cause mayhem."

  99. 5 mins: 

    Jamie Heaslip is unable to gather Farrell's re-start (after a Ireland kick-through goes dead) and the ball bobbles forward and into touch. First scrum. Goose bump-inducing noise from the crowd. "Heave," they shout. The front rows cave-in but the ball pops out in England's side and they kick possession away.

  100. 3 mins: 
    PENALTY- Ireland 0-3 England

    That penalty kick was meat and potatoes for the dependable Owen Farrell. First blow to the visitors.

  101. 2 mins: 

    First touch for Billy Twelvetrees and he runs into the immovable Sean O'Brien. Oof, go the crowd as Farrell's cross-field kick barely moves forward. England gather, though, and earn a penalty within their outside-half's radar.

    BBC Radio 5 live's Denis Hickie at the Aviva Stadium

    "England's forwards will be happy they have all had an early touch of the ball - and an early penalty. The choke tackle is a bit of a risk."

  103. 1 min: 

    The lingering smoke from the fireworks has disappeared. Jerome Garces - he's from France, by the way - toots his whistle. Owen Farrell boots the ball down field. Green lights. It's go, go, go.

  104. 1457: 

    The brass band stop playing World in Union. Camera lenses being smeared by the drizzle. Now it's time for the anthems. No need to inform you which team won the singing contest, but Ireland were helped by one or two vociferous fans. Cannonballs go off. Mind your head.


    Mike Mullens on Twitter: "England vs Ireland, in Ireland, game of the tournament, COME ON ENGLAND."

    Stuart Griffiths on Twitter: "Eng v Ire that's where it's at I ain't moving for next few hours"

    Tom Reeves on Twitter: "Come on then Ireland! Difficult to call but hope the Celtic cousins just edge it!"

  106. 1453: 

    Ireland coach Declan Kidney informs us that new dad Brian O'Driscoll has had his pre-match meal and that all is hunkydory with the centre after the birth of his baby girl. Imagine playing international rugby on an empty stomach? Doesn't bear thinking about.

    "It's obviously been a busy day for Brian O'Driscoll but he can do it and will take it in his stride," says Kidney "In fairness to his wife Amy she's shown great courage and generosity to free him up to play.

    "It's a different sort of build-up but he's had his pre-match meal and a sleep. He's in good form and ready to play."

  107. 1451: 

    The England squad trot onto the pitch wearing their maroon tracksuit tops. Captain Chris Robshaw's hair already looking bedraggled because of the damp conditions. Muted atmosphere for the English but a far more frenzied reception as then men in green tracksuit tops emerge. Bang goes a firework. Cockahoop go the fans.

    BBC Radio 5 live's Denis Hickie at the Aviva Stadium

    "Simon Zebo has played full-back for Ireland as well as wing and from a coaching point of view he has the raw skills. He has been playing brilliantly for Munster and is riding the crest of a wave at the moment."


    England coach Stuart Lancaster on BBC One: "I think conditions will play a part for both sides. Between us both teams want to play, there's no reason why we can't but it's a questions of right place, right time - it's about game management.

    "Quite a few of the bench are likely to be used - nothing's pre-planned with the replacements."

    Jonathan Davies at the Aviva Stadium, BBC Sport

    "At the moment Owen Farrell and Jonny Sexton are the prime contenders for the Lions fly-half shirt. They'll have got up this morning and everything they've been working on all week will have gone out of the window.

    "England number 10 Farrell was magnificent last week on the front foot, but Ireland will slow ball down and the result will come down to the decision making of the nines and 10."

    BBC Radio 5 live's Matt Dawson at the Aviva Stadium

    "The weather seems to have stepped up, it is drizzly and it means we will not have the type of game where the ball is spread from side to side, it will be a game about defence."


    David Smart ‏on Twitter: "Interested in how Ireland and England will adapt to the wet conditions, running rugby prominent from both teams last week."

    Sam Steele on Twitter: "Already excited about the match today. Ireland FTW."

    Tim Edwards on Twitter: "England shirt on, paint brush in hand!"

  113. 1439: 

    Talking of offloads (seamless, I hope you agree)... Jeremy Guscott has some thoughts on England's tactics this afternoon.

    "It will be interesting to see how England play," says the BBC Sport pundit. "Although their offloading game was brilliant at times there is a risk involved because it can go wrong. But for England to progress they can't move away from that style, so I believe the will continue to try and play."

  114. 1437: 

    I know, according to Scotland coach Scott Johnson, stats are like bikinis, but here are a few for you. England made 655m with the ball in hand against Scotland (more than they managed in any game in last year's tournament). Ireland made 200 tackles (more than any other side on the opening weekend) as they thwarted a Welsh comeback. One final stat to digest. England produced more offloads (18) than any other side last week, while Ireland produced just three (fewer than any other team).


    Kate Shaw on Twitter: "Time for the rugby! Welcome to my alternative commentary. Dad has made me promise not to swear but he doesn't read Twitter!

    Kate Bennett on Twitter: "Am so looking forward to this match! Score prediction Ireland 18-England 12!"

    Adam James on Twitter: ‏"Looking forward to Ireland vs England game. hopefully we can destroy the Irish."

  116. 1436: 

    Just to let you know, if you refresh the screen you can not only watch the rugby on BBC1 but numerous variations of the coverage - such as BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Radio Ulster commentary.


    5 live rugby on Twitter: "Brian O'Driscoll was present at the birth of his daughter this morning, Mum Amy and daughter doing well we're told. Further motivation for Dad, should he need it..."

    Conor McNamara on Twitter: "Brian O'Driscoll. Sleep is over-rated anyway."

  118. 1432: 

    Eddie Butler is doing his thing on BBC1 if you want to listen to the Welshman's dulcet tones. And if a poetic verse from Butler wasn't enough then perhaps news that Brian O'Driscoll's wife, Amy Huberman, has given birth to a baby girl this morning will warm the heart on a damp Sunday afternoon.

    The Irish centre was present at the birth (at 10.30GMT) but has since rejoined the squad and will take to the field for his 122nd cap.


    Dan Fellows on Twitter: "England to win by 9 points against the Irish Manu to make 2nd half impact."

    Ed Townend on Twitter: "Battle at tight head and the back row dominance key to an England win."

    Brad Hughes on Twitter: "Out at the stupid cinema and for dinner today so I'm relying on you BBC Sport to keep me updated on England v Ireland."

  120. 1425: 

    If you've not had time to check who will be wearing the green of Ireland or the English rose on their chest then worry not. Ireland's team is intact after their victory over Wales, while England were forced into one change, bringing in James Haskell for the injured Ben Morgan.

    Ireland: Rob Kearney; Craig Gilroy, Brian O'Driscoll, Gordon D'Arcy, Simon Zebo; Jonathan Sexton, Conor Murray; Jamie Heaslip (capt), Sean O'Brien, Peter O'Mahony; Donnacha Ryan, Mike McCarthy; Mike Ross, Rory Best, Cian Healy

    Replacements: Sean Cronin, David Kilcoyne, Declan Fitzpatrick, Donncha O'Callaghan, Chris Henry, Eoin Reddan, Ronan O'Gara, Keith Earl

    England: Alex Goode; Chris Ashton, Brad Barritt, Billy Twelvetrees, Mike Brown; Owen Farrell, Ben Youngs; Tom Wood, Chris Robshaw (capt), James Haskell; Geoff Parling, Joe Launchbury; Dan Cole, Tom Youngs, Joe Marler.

    Replacements: Dylan Hartley, David Wilson, Mako Vunipola, Courtney Lawes, Thomas Waldrom, Danny Care, Toby Flood, Manu Tuilagi

  121. 1421: 

    England know they won't have many friends in the Aviva Stadium this afternoon. The world must seem awfully lonely when recent history is against you and 70,000 fiery fans are intent on creating a suffocating atmosphere. Not that England prop Dan Cole cares.

    "We know we're disliked. You look at each other in the changing room and know that you've got no hiding place," he told BBC Sport's chief sports writer Tom Fordyce.

    "How do I deal with it? If someone's going to hate me for being English, I'll hate you for not being English, for that 80 minutes we're on the field."

  122. 1416: 

    It is a tale of the old and gnarled versus the young and carefree. An afternoon when the most experienced centre pairing in world rugby - Brian O'Driscoll and Gordon D'Arcy - will lock horns with midfield opponents - Billy Twelvetrees and Brad Barritt - appearing together for just the second time. It's a race for outside-halves to assert their credentials to play in the Lions Test team. And, by the end of it all, only one team will remain in contention for the Grand Slam. It's enough to make a live texter giddy.


    Touch judge Nigel Owens on Twitter: "It's damp and cold here in Dublin this morning. Hope drizzle stops for the game or it will be full tracksuit on. On touch Ire v Eng today."

  124. 1410: 

    I'm guessing you know there will be live text commentary to guide you through the afternoon, otherwise you wouldn't be reading these words. The match will also be live on BBC1 (from 14:25 GMT), while you can listen to live coverage on BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Radio Ulster. I know what you're thinking, it's February but it feels like Christmas.


    Joe McCarthy on Twitter: "Whoever wins out of England v Ireland today will go on to win the Six Nations and probably the Grand Slam"

    Imogen Townhill on Twitter: "England Rugby today, so excited!! Do us proud guys and give the Irish a good thrashing!"

    Matt Moore on Twitter: "Seriously buzzing for the Ireland v England game to kick off. Come on England."

  126. 1407: 

    Hello! Yes, it's been 10 years since England won a Six Nations game in Ireland, but English fans have travelled across the Irish Sea this weekend with their chests puffed out and positivity oozing through their pores after a splendid 38-18 victory over Scotland in the Calcutta Cup. The question remains, though: How good are Stuart Lancaster's young pups? We're about to find out.


    BBC Sport's chief sports writer Tom Fordyce on Twitter: "Dublin dawn on ding-dong day. Sky the same colour as pavement. Puddles so big they have their own pedallo concessions. It will be splendid."

  128. 1400: 

    What a decade it has been. The likes of Steve Brookstein and Shayne Ward entertained us with their soulful tunes only to disappear before they had a real chance to make an imprint on musical history. Tracy Barlow was sentence to life imprisonment for murder but is, thankfully, back sipping ale at the Rovers Return. A lot can happen in 10 years, except for an English victory in Dublin* that is...

    * I know England beat the Irish in Dublin in 2011 but World Cup warm-up matches don't count in my book. Ok? No? Harsh.

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