Tuilagi, Nowell and Daly start for England

Brad Shields- Brad Shields misses England training as flanker appears poised to miss Six Nations opener with Ireland

Brad Shields- Brad Shields misses England training as flanker appears poised to miss Six Nations opener with Ireland

Ultimately, though, Best says Ireland can counter the surprises up England head coach Eddie Jones's sleeve by focusing on themselves and their own performance.

Joe Schmidt's side have taken on all comers, beating world champions New Zealand in November following a Grand Slam and a long-awaited series win in Australia a year ago.

New Zealand-born Ireland centre Bundee Aki last faced England's Samoan midfielder Manu Tuilagi in a college game some 12 years back.

"That is a reality check about the physicality that will be required to be successful in this World Cup year", said Schmidt.

"Throughout this year's Championship, and into future seasons, the Six Nations team will be able to develop new, advanced statistics that give unprecedented insight and understanding to the game", said Andy Isherwood, AWS managing director for Europe, the Middle East and Asia (EMEA).

Henshaw has not featured at 15 for Ireland since his 2013 Test debut, but Schmidt has been running the Leinster star in the back-field role in training since last summer.

'I thought they way we dug in today, we had a lot of defending to do.

Losing second-rows Iain Henderson and Tadhg Beirne for the start of the campaign is a blow, but James Ryan and Devin Toner are a formidable pairing.

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We had all the ingredients today and it was nearly like we couldn't be beaten today with the crowd. "So it's been a very hard window".

Gatland opted against making any changes at half time, but Wales needed inspiration from somewhere, and they produced nothing during a one-sided opening 40 minutes to suggest it was going to happen.

Three Irish provinces qualified for the quarterfinals of the European Rugby Champions Cup and the national team will be expected to carry on where it left off in 2018 when it faces England in a blockbuster showdown. He feels Joe Schmidt hold the reins too tightly and that this team is actually capable of a lot more in attack.

It's not surprising to see Blair Kinghorn sitting top of the individual Fantasy Rugby player standings after he scored a hat-trick in Scotland's win against Italy. That's why you need experienced players, because they know if you're not preparing well.

Joe Schmidt has warned Ireland to heed the World Cup "reality check" of Saturday's comprehensive 32-20 Guinness Six Nations defeat to England.

"It got quite physical with him", said Ireland's coach.

"He creates an atmosphere where it's nearly more pressurised than the game, so that is what Joe creates with us too".

Although Ireland ran out Grand Slam winners, there were just five points separating second-placed Wales and fifth-placed England come the end of the tournament. "George has got some real special qualities as a player, and those two tries had a big impact on the game".

Ireland were heralded by Jones as the strongest team in the world leading into the Dublin collision, but having dispatched them with a near-faultless display he refused to make any bold predictions for Japan 2019.

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