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Best expects bruising battle

17th February 2014 16:44


Rory Best Ireland Six Nations 2013

Prepared: Rory Best

Ireland hooker Rory Best expects a physical confrontation when his side travel to face England at Twickenham this weekend.

Best worked under England forwards coach Graham Rowntree while on tour with the British and Irish Lions, and knows exactly what to expect.

"He's going to be drumming that into them all week: there's been a lot made of our maul, so he'll want to make a point of destroying that," said Best.

"He played in a very physical Leicester team, that's his grounding, that's what he's going to expect from his players when we go out to play them on Saturday.

"And it's all about physical dominance with him. You dominate up front, you dominate the game.

"No one makes any secret of the fact that's how you win games.

"And he'll be drumming that into them all week, there's no doubt. There'll be a lot of technical aspects, but a lot of it will also come down to mindset."

Fellow Lion Dan Cole misses out, an injury sidelining him for the remainder of the Six Nations, but Best knows that in Davey Wilson, England have a fine replacement.

"Dan's only missed two of Stuart Lancaster's squads and that's when he's been away with the Lions," added Best.

"From an English point of view it's coincided well with Davey Wilson playing for Bath last weekend.

"The scrum's going to be a massive part of this game.

"Two years ago we certainly got beaten up there, to put it mildly, and it cost us the match. And it's going to be no different this weekend.

"They have a very good scrum, no matter who they bring in, whoever gets the opportunity to fill Dan Cole's shirt, they are going to be very tough.

"Their scrum has been going very well, their line-out has been exceptional, and we know that we need to at very worst match that."

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