Ireland vs England LIVE: Six Nations 2023 result and reaction as Ireland seal grand slam after red card

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Ireland completed just their fourth-ever Six Nations grand slam with a 29-16 victory over England at the Aviva Stadium, emphatically underlining their status as the world’s top-ranked team heading into September’s World Cup.

None of Ireland’s three previous clean sweeps had been completed in Dublin but this victory over their fiercest rivals was the sweetest way to seal a deserved grand slam on St Patrick’s Day weekend.

There was controversy late in the first half when England full back Freddie Steward was sent off for a dangerous hit on Hugo Keenan despite bracing for impact and turning away from his opposite number, with contact appearing accidental. The harsh call prompted a mountain of reaction on Twitter, including from England cricket captain Ben Stokes.

However, Ireland were still good value for their victory, as Dan Sheehan scored two tries, with Robbie Henshaw and Rob Herring also dotting down, to fulfil Irish dreams.

Relive the action from the Aviva Stadium below:

Ireland vs England - live Six Nations updates

  • Ireland beat England 29-16 in the final match of the 2023 Six Nations

  • Ireland complete an impressive grand slam in Dublin for the first time

  • Freddie Steward controversially red-carded for England in the first half

  • FULL-TIME! Ireland 29-16 England

  • 77’ - TRY! Herring adds the icing by stretching out to score (IRE 29-16 ENG)

  • 73’ - TRY! George forces way over from a maul to give England deserved try (IRE 24-16 ENG)

  • 69’ - TRY! Great hands by Conan allows Sheehan to touch down (IRE 24-9 ENG)

  • 62’ - TRY! Henshaw goes over from Aki’s pass (IRE 17-9 ENG)

  • 51’ - PENALTY! Farrell close the gap to a single point for 14-man England (IRE 10-9 ENG)

  • 40’ - RED CARD! Steward shown controversial red after making contact with Keenan’s head (IRE 10-6 ENG)

  • 33’ - TRY! Sheehan runs a great line on to Van der Flier’s inside pass (IRE 10-6 ENG)

  • ‘Shambles, shambles, shambles’: Ben Stokes and others react to controversial Freddie Steward red card

  • France down Wales 41-28 to put themselves in position to nick the title if Ireland slip up

  • Scotland beat Italy 26-14 in a thriller to kick off Super Saturday

Andy Farrell reacts to Ireland’s Grand Slam win

19:24 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“It’s only the fourth time we’ve done it and the first time we’ve done it here,” the Ireland head coach tells ITV. “Winning a Grand Slam is always special.

“It was squeaky bum time there for a while...Credit to France for the pressure they put on over the last couple of days. It was win at all costs. The game was stop-start, a proper old-fashioned test match. We are disappointed with some aspects of our game but it is a bonus point win again - that’s where we are at the moment.

“Hopefully there are bigger fish to fry for Johnny with the World Cup but it is unbelievably fitting for him to have this moment. He wanted to go and lift the trophy with someone else, but I said to him he had to have this moment.”

Owen Farrell reacts to England’s defeat to Ireland

19:21 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“Firstly, congratulations to Ireland. Winning a Grand Slam is special.

“I thought we showed a trememndous amount of fight. The game changed with the card but we still showed a brilliant amount of fight, worked hard, stuck in it. But against a top team like Ireland it showed in the end.

[On Freddie Steward’s red card] “It’s not for me to have an opinion on. It seemed harsh to me but the people make the rules for a reason. It’s not for me to say.

“We’ve got to go back to our clubs and work hard to be better players so when we do get together again we are better as a team. Clearly we want to be a better team.

[On Johnny Sexton] “It is a special achievement to win a Grand Slam and he has orchestrated it. He epitomises what they are about. He’s been fantastic.”

Ireland seal Six Nations Grand Slam with win over England

19:17 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Up the twin prizes go together, Johnny Sexton handing the trophy around to his teammates after hoisting it aloft.

Brian O’Driscoll on ITV: “Certainly in my time it is the greatest Ireland team, the most consistent Ireland team. Even in defeat they have pushed the boundaries of performance, that French game last year, the game they lost in New Zealand in the summer. There is something special within this team.”

Ireland seal Six Nations Grand Slam with win over England

19:15 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Ireland’s injured squad members (and there are quite a few) make their way up to the stage. Vice-captain James Ryan is afforded the opportunity of lifting the Triple Crown - Johnny Sexton has his own trophy to raise...

Ireland seal Six Nations Grand Slam with win over England

19:13 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Andy and Owen Farrell share a warm hug in the stands, son congratulating father after his own defeat before the Ireland head coach joins his squad on the pitch for the celebratory ceremonies. The first of the Ireland players take their medals, Bundee Aki carrying his littl’un, sharing the moment. How lovely.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Ireland’s James Ryan reacts to Grand Slam triumph

19:09 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“One of the best nights of our careers. We spoke about the opportunity this week about the chance to win a Grand Slam in Dublin it in front of our home fans. We didn’t get it right in the first half but we stuck at it and eventually found a way.

“There was a bit of a pressure but every game you play for Ireland there is pressure. We were a little bit off kilter in the first half, but we wanted to test ourselves and we are delighted to get a result at the end.

“These are the days that are special. It is really special. Johnny [Sexton]’s last Six Nations game today – what a servant he has been, an incredible player, an incredible person.”

Ireland seal Six Nations Grand Slam with win over England

19:06 , Harry Latham-Coyle

England may have fallen short but there was some much-needed fight shown by Steve Borthwick’s side, perhaps giving the England head coach a little more confidence his team are heading in vaguely the right direction ahead of the autumn’s World Cup. The gap that needs to be closed is still massive, of course, but it wasn’t the thumping many feared.

Ireland seal Six Nations Grand Slam with win over England

19:05 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It’s one of the most dominant Grand Slams in history, too - five sides beaten, all by a margin in double digits. That’s not to say Ireland weren’t tested, surviving significant first half rigours against France, Scotland and England, and a bit of a fright against Italy, but the best side in the world have proved exactly that across this Six Nations.

F/T: Ireland 29-16 England

19:03 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The Irish squad embrace, sharing great hugs and broad smiles in the ecstasy of Grand Slam triumph. They really had to work for it, and who knows what might have happened had the officials viewed Freddie Steward’s challenge differently, but you fancy that whatever the circumstances this brilliant Ireland side would have found a way.

For the fourth time in championship history, Ireland are Grand Slam champions.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)


19:01 , Harry Latham-Coyle

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Ireland 29-16 England, 82 minutes

19:00 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Nothing doing at the maul, nor around the fringes, either. Owen Farrell is short of men to pass to, forced to throw to Henry Slade on the blindside, who is caught a little off-guard and behind the gainline by Conor Murray.

A pass flies errant, and Ireland rush through after Manu Tuilagi. Knocked on by Irish hands - it matters not. IRELAND HAVE WON THE GRAND SLAM!

Ireland 29-16 England, 81 minutes

18:59 , Harry Latham-Coyle

One last shot for England as a high tackle allows Owen Farrell to find the left corner. Jamie George will throw the lineout.

Ireland 29-16 England, 80 minutes

18:58 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A converted England score would earn the visitors a losing bonus point, which they would probably merit after a battling performance. You have to wonder where this sort of fight was against France.

Ireland 29-16 England, 79 minutes

18:56 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Into the final minute. Andy Farrell can barely hide his own grin in the coaches’ box, and Robbie Henshaw is biting his lip, too. A special moment for all involved - forget the red card today, this has been an outstanding campaign through which Ireland have been consistently the best side by a distance.

TRY! IRELAND 29-16 England (Rob Herring try, 77 minutes)

18:53 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The replacement hooker clinches it!

Dublin, get ready to celebrate. Rob Herring produces the broadest of smiles as he spots England short of defenders on the blindside as the Irish maul begins to form.

A pair of backs might have been a touch unhappy with Herring had he not been able to reach for the line, the hooker eschewing his support to go it alone but able to place cleanly down. That’s the bonus point score, too.

Yellow card! Jack Willis is sent to the sin bin! Ireland 24-16 England, 76 minutes

18:52 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It’s not the prettiest from Willis, lifting Ross Byrne beyond the horizontal and dumping him over the top of an England teammate. It’s more clumsy than reckless, but a yellow card is about fair, and England will end the game with only 13 on the field.

Dan Sheehan is named Player of the Match.

Ireland 24-16 England, 76 minutes

18:51 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Jaco Peyper blows his whistle sharply twice - the TMO wants to look at a clearout from Jack Willis.

Ireland 24-16 England, 74 minutes

18:49 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Irish changes at half-back, with the home fans inside the Aviva Stadium rising to their feet as Johnny Sexton departs the Six Nations stage. Worryingly, Sexton leaves with a major limp, requiring assistance from a medic and pointing at the top of his leg - you hope that isn’t at all serious, but the Ireland captain will surely sign off with a trophy lift tonight.

Jamison Gibson-Park is replaced, too. Conor Murray and Ross Byrne come on.

TRY! Ireland 24-16 ENGLAND (Jamie George try, 73 minutes)

18:47 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Hope for England yet?

A muscular maul works infield and then upfield, the rumbling mass making its way to the line and allowing Jamie George to score.

Owen Farrell converts.

Ireland 24-9 England, 72 minutes

18:46 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Alex Mitchell is introduced by Steve Borthwick as 14-player England try to find a route back. They’ll have a chance from a penalty inside the Ireland half, which is kicked into the Ireland 22.

TRY! IRELAND 24-9 England (Dan Sheehan try, 69 minutes)

18:42 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Start the party? Dan Sheehan has his second and Ireland are beginning to acclerate away!

He really is a physical freak. Sheehan makes the initial bust, holding his width on the touchline to out-pace the English cover coming across.

Jack van Poortvliet stands strong in the hooker’s way, making an excellent tackle, but when the ball is returned to Sheehan by a delicious offload from Jack Conan, there is no-one in front of him.

The Leinsterman departs after his second try of the evening as Johnny Sexton converts from the right touchline, and the engraver can probably start on the I.

Ireland 17-9 England, 67 minutes

18:41 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Dave Ribbans has carried beefily in this second half but that’s a little foolish from the France-bound lock, fiddling on the floor having made a tackle.

Here is a significant moment - Dan Cole becomes England’s fourth male centurion, replacing Kyle Sinckler.

Ireland 17-9 England, 65 minutes

18:39 , Harry Latham-Coyle

England are held up inside the Ireland 22. Might it be time for Marcus Smith at some point soon? It would be bold, but I’m not sure England’s current strategy will bring them back into this game.

TRY! IRELAND 17-9 England (Robbie Henshaw try, 62 minutes)

18:34 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Ireland make the most of the opportunity!

New tighthead Tom O’Toole draws a penalty advantage out of Ellis Genge and from there it feels inevitable. Two inward hit-ups and then Jamison Gibson-Park goes blind, Bundee Aki taking at first receiver and connecting with his old mucker Robbie Henshaw at the line, who spies a gaping hole and the white line beyond.

Henshaw scores, Sexton converts and Ireland’s lead swells.

Ireland 10-9 England, 60 minutes

18:33 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Such intelligence from Johnny Sexton. The fly-half immediately kicks towards new man Marchant, turning the new wing with England one-short in their back three. The diagonal lift bounces nastily for the Harlequin, forcing Anthony Watson to hurry across and claim on the second hop.

Watson is carried over his own line. Five metre scrum, Ireland’s feed.

Ireland 10-9 England, 59 minutes

18:31 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Brilliant from Ryan Baird. The lock has impressed today in the biggest opportunity of his young international career, jackaling wth perfect form after Alex Dombrandt had made initial inroads up the right.

Changes for both teams. Tom O’Toole steps in for Tadhg Furlong, while Henry Arundell, who hasn’t been on the periphery, is replaced by Joe Marchant.

Ireland 10-9 England, 58 minutes

18:30 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Not for the first time this afternoon, Ireland appear to get a nudge on at the scrum but are penalised, with Andrew Porter again picked out for the angle of his drive.

Ireland 10-9 England, 56 minutes

18:29 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Handbags! A proper fracas for the first time in a contest of increasing spike and spite is sparked after Jamison Gibson-Park emerges from an English maul with a loose ball.

Gibson-Park chips ahead and a nasty bounce ends up with a leaping James Lowe, but the wing can only bobble it into touch, at which point both teams pile in for some futile pushing and shoving.

Ireland 10-9 England, 56 minutes

18:27 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Jaco Peyper gives England a hurry up at the lineout, but then calls time off with Dave Ribbans in need of a new contact lens and Ireland readying a change. Peter O’Mahony off; Jack Conan on.

Ireland 10-9 England, 55 minutes

18:26 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Still Ireland look rattled. An untimely slip from Mack Hansen puts the hosts under pressure. Johnny Sexton skews his clearance away some 30 metres shallower than he would have liked.

Ireland 10-9 England, 54 minutes

18:25 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Most felt that England’s only hope today was to drag Ireland in to a sloppy, scrappy tussle, and you’d say Steve Borthwick’s side have done precisely that so far. They have little interest in playing more than a couple of phases, kicking early and often in each passage.

Ireland 10-9 England, 52 minutes

18:23 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Jack Willis has a cut on his head, with the referee calling a halt to proceedings to ensure the flanker is appropriately stitched up before Ireland throw a lineout on the ten-metre line.

They like that play, the hosts, over the top to a retreating Peter O’Mahony with runners either side of the blindside, but it hasn’t quite clicked during the tournament, with O’Mahony unable to take cleanly and thus throwing his pass forward.

PENALTY! Ireland 10-9 ENGLAND (Owen Farrell penalty, 51 minutes)

18:20 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The first points of the second half go to 14-man England. Andy Farrell looks on nervously as his son slots his third penalty.

Ireland 10-6 England, 50 minutes

18:19 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The English eight roar - penalty their way! The visitors had just been told to speed things up after taking their time to set the initial scrum engagement, but get back on the right side of Jaco Peyper as Ireland’s front row are judged to have caused an immediate plummet into the floor.

Ireland 10-6 England, 48 minutes

18:18 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Ireland are just snatching at this a bit, trying slightly too much around the fringes rather than waiting for spaces to appear. To England’s credit, they have attacked the breakdown smartly today, knowing that Jaco Peyper tends to be lenient around the ruck area and capitalising when they can.

Owen Farrell launches a booming high bomb. Jimmy O’Brien cuts the wrong wire in his defusal attempt - a knock on, and England’s scrum 35 metres out from Ireland’s line.

Ireland 10-6 England, 46 minutes

18:15 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Watson looks really bright. He’s caught in a bit of a pickle as English turnover ball ends up in his hands with few teammates in support, but the wing beats all three Irish front-rowers to escape the predicament.

Ireland 10-6 England, 45 minutes

18:13 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Anthony Watson has taken backfield responsibility for England with his Leicester colleague sent off. He claims a mark calmly as Sexton puts too much mustard on his up-and-under.

Ireland 10-6 England, 44 minutes

18:13 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Peter O’Mahony contests hard at the front of England’s lineout but the visiting forwards hang on to the ball, allowing Jack van Poortvliet to launch a clearance.

Owen Farrell limps away after blocking Johnny Sexton’s attempted grubber into touch. Just a sore one, I think, rather than anything more serious, but one to monitor.

Ireland 10-6 England, 44 minutes

18:11 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Owen Farrell looks to the air, but England are short of chasers on the right. James Lowe takes and survives Lewis Ludlam’s challenge, freeing Bundee Aki, who sends Jamison Gibson-Park on.

The scrum half scurries free of Ellis Genge, chipping beyond the last defender. His lift skips into touch five metres short of England’s line.

Ireland 10-6 England, 43 minutes

18:10 , Harry Latham-Coyle

England are perhaps aided slightly by the fact that the rest of their back three cohort are comfortable at full back. Owen Farrell drops back to lend his support to one of them, Anthony Watson, as the two sides enter a kicking passage.

Watson goes up to take Jamison Gibson-Park’s box kick and puts on some footwork, neatly skipping by three Irish forwards. But Henry Arundell is well handled on the left.

Ireland 10-6 England, 41 minutes

18:08 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Maro Itoje, now without headgear, takes the second half restart.

Immediately Irealnd attack England’s under-resourced backline - a lovely cross-kick lands in James Lowe’s hands on the left, but the wing can’t quite find a teammate with his offload.

Second half

18:07 , Harry Latham-Coyle

England made Ireland wait for a couple of extra minutes before re-emerging. Johnny Sexton will restart affairs.

H/T: Ireland 10-6 England

18:06 , Harry Latham-Coyle

We’ll park the Freddie Steward discussion there for now - you suspect there will be enough post-match to sustain us for the next week at least.

Ireland are 40 minutes away from a Grand Slam, and back out there in Dublin. Jimmy O’Brien is amongst their number with Hugo Keenan removed.

H/T: Ireland 10-6 England

18:01 , Harry Latham-Coyle

In some ways, it is a bit of a shame, because it has been a cracking test match. England have been very impressive, given the low they plunged to last week, with their breakdown work much, much improved and their defensive intensity lifted significantly. 20 tackles for Jack Willis in that half, and a couple of breakdown snaffles, too.

But England were cut open for Dan Sheehan’s try.

H/T: Ireland 10-6 England

17:59 , Harry Latham-Coyle

England produced their best performance of the 2022 Six Nations against Ireland after Charlie Ewels’s early dismissal, not that it mattered much in the final accounting. They’ll need to summon something even greater than that to stay in this one, you feel, given what is at stake for Ireland.

You can understand the process that saw Jaco Peyper and his officiating team arrive at their decision, but I’m not sure they came at the incident from the right starting point.

H/T: Ireland 10-6 England

17:56 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Plenty to discuss from that first 40, with Ireland short of their best but England responding strongly to their France thrashing, but there is only one place to start. Even amid the understandable efforts to reduce head contacts, you have to say that Freddie Steward’s collison with Hugo Keenan was harshly viewed by the officials - the England full-back had no other place to go and appeared to be leaping in an attempt to avoid a stumbling, stooping Keenan, who was grasping for a loose ball.


17:52 , Harry Latham-Coyle

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Ireland 10-6 England, 45 minutes

17:51 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A huge test of England’s character now. They hold firm to ensure the margin is only four at the half, Ryan Baird knocking on as English forwards charge into him.

RED CARD! Freddie Steward is sent off! Ireland 10-6 England, 41 minutes

17:50 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It’s red!

Referee Jaco Peyper explains: “In the current climate, you are upright, you had time turn your shoulder - direct contact to head, it’s a red card.”

Steward and Owen Farrell protest the full-back’s innocence, and that does feel a little harsh. Steward had turned to brace for Keenan, who was in an unnatural position with the whistle blown, but Peyper argues that the England man has a duty of care towards his opponent and should have done more.

England will play the remainder of the game without their most consistent performer during this campaign.

Ireland 10-6 England, 40 minutes

17:48 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Almost a delightful move from Ireland - Dan Sheehan leaving one behind for Jamison Gibson-Park on the loop, with Johnny Sexton coming around the corner, too. Sexton finds Mack Hansen off his wing, but Hansen is caught as he tries to pass and loses control with both of his back-three colleagues waiting for a pass.

Oh dear - Hugo Keenan colllides uncomfortably with Freddie Steward’s elbow as he stoops to try and collect the forward spill. It looks accidental - but that may not matter...

Ireland 10-6 England, 39 minutes

17:46 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Bundee Aki says a curt hello to Jack van Poortvliet, who does rather well, in the end, hanging on to an ankle to prevent Aki making much more advancement after an initial brusque biff. Kyle Sinckler is soon penalised for offside, though.

Ireland 10-6 England, 38 minutes

17:45 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Henry Arundell activates the spark plugs, legs pumping as he tries to tempt Mack Hansen into a false move. Hansen holds his ground, waiting for supporting inside defenders to come across and entrap the first-time England starter, who is held up in a choke tackle. Turnover, Ireland’s ball.

Ireland 10-6 England, 37 minutes

17:44 , Harry Latham-Coyle

That’s a better aerial involvement from Steward, up with real command as Johnny Sexton tests him with a garryowen from a free kick.

England thump the ball back to their hosts, with a bothersome boot at a ruck drawing a knock on from Jamison Gibson-Park at the base.

Ireland 10-6 England, 35 minutes

17:41 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Freddie Steward is put off by the presence of James Lowe in the air, with the normally rock-solid full back spilling forward as he lands on his back. TMO Marius Jonker calls down to Jaco Peyper, requesting a check of a possible nudge on Lowe by Anthony Watson, but there’s no significant contact.

TRY! IRELAND 10-6 England (Dan Sheehan try, 33 minutes)

17:38 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The Aviva Stadium erupts!

Wonderfully worked! Ireland maul initially, waiting for all of the English forwards to be sucked in. Josh van der Flier waits at the back, Dan Sheehan holding off after his throw and the pair bursting away in unison.

Van der Flier draws the close-in defender wider with an angled run before lifting a perfect pass for a bounding Sheehan, who takes at full tilt. Manu Tuilagi tries to halt the hooker with a firm shoulder, but Sheehan is already in.

Johnny Sexton converts.

Ireland 3-6 England, 31 minutes

17:37 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The aerial contest has been fascinating so far, with Ireland avoiding Freddie Steward when they can. Hugo Keenan takes a high hoist with Steward too far back to compete.

England are making a number of contacts off the ball, trying to disrupt Ireland’s attacking rhythm. One of them, from Ellis Genge on Jamison Gibson-Park, is picked up by Jaco Peyper, who whistles a penalty Ireland’s way. That’s perhaps slightly harsh, based on the replay - there wasn’t much in that from the prop.

Ireland 3-6 England, 30 minutes

17:35 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The crowd boo - a penalty to England in retreat at the scrum. The officials believe Andrew Porter has stepped around to create the angle to drive forward. The loosehead prop does not agree.

England kick up into Ireland’s half.

Ireland 3-6 England, 28 minutes

17:32 , Harry Latham-Coyle

England have already missed 15 tackles but their line speed and intensity is causing Ireland problems. Visiting defence coach Kevin Sinfield shares a word with his head coach, Steve Borthwick nodding along. This has been so much better than a week ago from their side.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Ireland 3-6 England, 27 minutes

17:31 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Jack Willis rocks back Mack Hansen with a driving tackle as Jamison Gibson-Park flicks to his wing from the back of a feigned Irish maul.

England’s red zone defence has been good so far. Ryan Baird fumbles under pressure from Manu Tuilagi.

Ireland 3-6 England, 26 minutes

17:29 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Ireland’s faster men begin to fizz. Mack Hansen eludes three tacklers with a counter-attack from inside his own 22, before Robbie Henshaw scorches Manu Tuilagi on the outside. Alex Dombrandt is penalised for a late collision with Johnny Sexton, with Sexton’s exaggeration of the contact drawing Owen Farrell’s ire. The two skippers exchange their preferred brand of pleasantries.

Ireland 3-6 England, 25 minutes

17:27 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Maro Itoje’s arm strays where it shouldn’t, with the lock penalised for making contact on the Irish catcher in the air.

Peter O’Mahony has to really reach to claim the subsequent Ireland linout, which prevents his side from building from the set piece.

Ireland 3-6 England, 23 minutes

17:25 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Ireland lift their physicality. Caelan Doris very nearly wins a turnover but England don’t continue much longer, Lewis Ludlam and Manu Tuilagi each deposited over the touchline as the pair run out of room on the right.

Ireland 3-6 England, 22 minutes

17:24 , Harry Latham-Coyle

That’s the England of four years ago - Manu Tuilagi off Henry Slade’s shoulder to win the initial collision, then Kyle Sinckler taking his prop partner’s pass to make ground as Ellis Genge plays distributor at the line.

A crunching double tackle on Freddie Steward drives England back.

Ireland 3-6 England, 20 minutes

17:23 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Ellis Genge is robbed of the ball as he tries to muscle his way up towards halfway. Yeesh, that’s some step from Ryan Baird, jumping from left to right and leaving a defender on his behind.

But Ireland’s accuracy still isn’t quite there. A missed connection around the corner sees the ball again hit the deck. England kick it up into the Irish 22 and Hugo Keenan shanks his kick into touch.

PENALTY! IRELAND 3-6 England (Johnny Sexton penalty, 19 minutes)

17:21 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Three more points to his tally - Johnny Sexton surpasses Ronan O’Gara as the all-time leading Six Nations scorer.

Ireland 0-6 England, 17 minutes

17:20 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Kyle Sinckler flops over the top of a breakdown. Penalty to Ireland, and this time Johnny Sexton beckons for the tee. This should be history for the Ireland fly-half...

Ireland 0-6 England, 16 minutes

17:19 , Harry Latham-Coyle

But here come Ireland. Dan Sheehan hurries into a half-gap and then Hugo Keenan cuts England open more completely, the full-back slithering up the centre and into the visitors backfield.

England reform, though, and Ireland are over-hasty in their play, losing their accuracy and allowing Henry Arundell to snatch a pass from the air.

PENALTY! Ireland 0-6 ENGLAND (Owen Farrell penalty, 15 minutes)

17:17 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Two from two for Owen Farrell. Slightly further left than his first but still simple enough for the fly-half. A bright opening 15 minutes for England.

Ireland 0-3 England, 14 minutes

17:16 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And Ireland compound that error. Mack Hansen slices an attempted clearing kick out for a gain of all of ten metres, with Andrew Porter then taking a lifter out before the English lineout catcher has come safely to floor.

Owen Farrell will try to double his tally.

Ireland 0-3 England, 13 minutes

17:15 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Ireland use the goalline drop out play that worked so beautifully against France, but Hugo Keenan can’t take Tadhg Furlong’s inside ball.

Ireland 0-3 England, 12 minutes

17:14 , Harry Latham-Coyle

They were! Jaco Peyper confers with his TMO Marius Jonker, and is content that Maro Itoje was onside before rushing forward, with the lock putting Owen Farrell onside before the fly-half chimed in which his support. The pair combine with Alex Dombrandt to turtle Sexton, holding him up - just a goalline drop out.

Ireland 0-3 England, 11 minutes

17:12 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Nearly through! Ireland vary their attacking play and it is nearly deadly, Josh van der Flier first on the inside ball making a half-break, and then James Lowe likewise as the backs work the hands.

Ireland lose control of the ball but England infringe on the floor. Tapped quickly - Johnny Sexton takes England by surprise and I’m not sure the tackler was back ten...

Ireland 0-3 England, 10 minutes

17:11 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Johnny Sexton does not fancy testing his range from just short of halfway - the Ireland fly-half kicks for touch on the 22, from where Ireland can attack.

Ireland 0-3 England, 9 minutes

17:10 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Johnny Sexton kicks long to Alex Dombrandt in the left corner, with England’s number eight handled by the Irish chasers. Hugo Keenan takes a long English clearance and steps past one tackler.

Into an extended kicking exchange. Ah, that’s a little naive from Henry Arundell, torn between a kick and his natural attacking instinct, and allowing Irish limbs to wrap around his ankles and then the ball - penalty to Ireland for holding on.

PENALTY! Ireland 0-3 ENGLAND (Owen Farrell penalty, 8 minutes)

17:08 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Owen Farrell’s leg appears to be in full working order - a simple one to start for the England fly-half, struck powerfully from inside the Ireland 22 and level with the left upright.

Ireland 0-0 England, 6 minutes

17:07 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Good contiunity from England, up into double figures in the phase count, though not looking truly threatening. Ellis Genge wins the gainline and earns a penalty as an Irish tackler fails to vacate the space.

Freddie Steward fades on a pass and strides to the outside, but can’t connect with Henry Arundell, who won that initial turnover. Back for the penalty and a first chance of points.

Ireland 0-0 England, 4 minutes

17:05 , Harry Latham-Coyle

That’s less pretty at lineout time from the hosts - Dan Sheehan throws in but there is no-one lifted to take his second dart. It skews into English hands and again Ireland are turned.

Stolen again! More ruck joy for English pilferers and they can attack in the Irish half for the first time.

Ireland 0-0 England, 3 minutes

17:03 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Dan Sheehan’s first toss is safely secured, and the Irish attack sets to work. England are electing not to contest the breakdown, standing off, keeping as many defenders on their feet as possible.

Now they do jackal - brilliant turnover from Jack Willis. Owen Farrell kicks long and Ireland will have to go again from deep.

But Maro Itoje infringes.

Ireland 0-0 England, 2 minutes

17:02 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A tackle in the air from Owen Farrell, Jamison Gibson-Park bumped with a limited use of the arms from the England skipper. Just a penalty. Johnny Sexton kicks into England’s half.

Ireland 0-0 England, 1 minute

17:01 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Bundee Aki takes down the kick off. Irelnad employ James Lowe’s great left boot for their first clearing job, the wing kicking long to Freddie Steward. The England full back returns in kind, Lowe claiming a mark inside his 22.

Ireland vs England

17:00 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Here goes it: Ireland are 80 minutes away from a fourth Grand Slam, with the chance to secure their clean sweep in Dublin for the first time on St Patrick’s weekend. It is set up perfectly for Andy Farrell’s side - can England gatecrash the party?

Owen Farrell will kick things off. Here we go!


16:57 , Harry Latham-Coyle

England’s players look a little angry as they sing “God Save the King”, clearly ready to give it their best shot and put right a rather meek showing against France.

The Aviva Stadium crowd lifts the volume ahead of the two Irish anthems. Not an empty seat in the place for what could be a famous Irish evening.

Ireland vs England

16:54 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Johnny Sexton also does his pre-match duties for the final time as Ireland skipper in the Six Nations. A Grand Slam sign-off really would be the perfect farewell.

Ireland vs England

16:53 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Owen Farrell waits next to the red matting for Irish President Michael D Higgins, who shakes the England captain’s hand with a warm grin. Farrell Jr. takes the dignitaries along the English line, introducing them to his squad. Maro Itoje sways left and right, keeping the energy high and his legs moving.

Ireland vs England: Match Officials

16:51 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Referee: Jaco Peyper (RSA)

ARs: Ben O’Keeffe (NZL) & Pierre Brousset (FRA)

TMO: Marius Jonker (RSA)

Ireland vs England

16:50 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The two sets of players make their way out past the Triple Crown, the other prize that Ireland can secure this evening. It looks glorious in Dublin after some morning rain, the skies blue and the sun just starting to dip.

Ireland vs England

16:48 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Owen Farrell tests his hips in the tunnel, limbering up. The England captain had been an injury doubt in midweek but declared himself fully fit to play yesterday, ready to charge up a wounded side for a chance to spoil the Irish party.

Josh van der Flier will lead Ireland out as he wins his 50th cap - the reigning World Rugby Player of the Year receives the Aviva Stadium’s roar as he exits the tunnel.

Owen Farrell ready to upset family loyalties against Ireland

16:42 , Harry Latham-Coyle

England captain Owen Farrell admits his mother Colleen is stuck in an unenviable position as he attempts to deny father Andy Grand Slam glory with Ireland.

The personal circumstances of the Farrell family is a major subplot going into Saturday’s sold-out Dublin showdown, with the hosts odds-on favourites to complete a Guinness Six Nations clean sweep.

Fly-half Farrell is out to spoil the St Patrick’s weekend party at the Aviva Stadium after being recalled by Steve Borthwick, having begun last weekend’s 53-10 thrashing by France on the bench.

The 31-year-old insists it will be business as usual for him and his dad but concedes it is a tricky situation for relatives caught in the middle.

“It’s not weird for us two,” he said. “It’s probably a bit more weird for the family that’s supporting, especially my mum.

“She says she doesn’t know what she wants to happen. It’s probably a bit tough for her – well, I know it is.

“But in terms of us, we’re just doing our job. He’s not out there on the field, it’s not direct competition.

“We’ve been doing it for a long time now. It’s not the first time we’ve done it.”

Owen Farrell ready to upset family loyalties against Ireland

Joe Biden sends his support

16:41 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Joe Biden is a long-standing fan of Irish rugby, with Rob and Dave Kearney distant cousins of the 46th US President. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has been at the White House over the last couple of days as part of a number of events to mark St Patrick’s Day, with the elder Kearney brother in attendance too to receive Biden’s well wishes for an Irish Grand Slam.

Team News - England

16:39 , Harry Latham-Coyle

After seeming so inferior physically against France, it is a mild surprise that Steve Borthwick does not make more changes to his starting group of forwards. The one alteration is enforced: Ollie Chessum has suffered an untimely dislocated ankle, throwing his World Cup participation into doubt after a bright debut Six Nations, so Dave Ribbans makes his first tournament start alongside Maro Itoje.

There are more significant switches behind the scrum. Owen Farrell, Manu Tuilagi and Henry Slade unite in midfield for the first time since the 2019 Rugby World Cup quarter-final with Ollie Lawrence out due to injury, while Henry Arundell makes his first England start on the left wing.

On the bench, Dan Cole could bring up a century of England appearances in typically understated manner – the tighthead prop will be only the fourth man to reach 100 for England when he relieves Kyle Sinckler.

England XV: Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Kyle Sinckler; Maro Itoje, Dave Ribbans; Lewis Ludlam, Jack Willis, Alex Dombrandt; Jack van Poortvliet, Owen Farrell (capt.); Henry Arundell, Manu Tuilagi, Henry Slade, Anthony Watson; Freddie Steward.

Replacements: Jack Walker, Mako Vunipola, Dan Cole, Nick Isiekwe, Ben Curry; Alex Mitchell, Marcus Smith, Joe Marchant.

Team News - Ireland

16:38 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Cian Healy and Josh van der Flier may have done a fine approximation of an Irish hooker in the win over Scotland but Andy Farrell will be mighty relieved to be able to call upon Dan Sheehan, with both the hooker and back row Caelan Doris cleared to start after early withdrawals at Murrayfield. Their Leinster teammate Ryan Baird comes in to the starting pack with Iain Henderson out.

Jamison Gibson-Park is preferred to Conor Murray at nine after adding his usual brand of zip and zeal from the bench a week ago. Thankfully, Garry Ringrose has been up and about this week and seems to be doing well after that horrible head-on-hip collision that ended his championship, with the centre handing great mate Josh van der Flier his 50th cap on Friday, but Farrell can boast a fully-fit Robbie Henshaw as more-than-handy cover.

Ireland XV: Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan, Tadhg Furlong; Ryan Baird, James Ryan; Peter O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris; Jamison Gibson-Park, Johnny Sexton (capt.); James Lowe, Bundee Aki, Robbie Henshaw, Mack Hansen; Hugo Keenan.

Replacements: Rob Herring, Cian Healy, Tom O’Toole, Kieran Treadwell, Jack Conan; Conor Murray, Ross Byrne, Jimmy O’Brien.

Can Ireland win a Grand Slam?

16:37 , Harry Latham-Coyle

That’s that for our live coverage of France’s win - we’ll have a load more reaction and analysis of their Six Nations over the next couple of days, along with an assessment of a Welsh campaign salvaged a little in the last two weeks but nonetheless leaving plenty of questions.

But we are now less than half-an-hour away from kick off at the Aviva Stadium, where Ireland’s men are hoping to seal a Six Nations Grand Slam in Dublin for the first time...

Prospect of Ireland’s dream weekend should leave England green with envy

F/T: France 41-28 Wales

16:35 , Harry Latham-Coyle

There will be some stern words for France after letting things slip a little but they look in very fine fettle ahead of their home tournament in the autumn. Their attacking game has been back in full flow in the last two weeks, aided by Jonathan Danty’s explosive return at inside centre.

F/T: France 41-28 Wales

16:32 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Four Welsh tries won’t at all please Shaun Edwards, but France finish with a bonus point win to at least put a little extra pressure on Ireland this evening. It looked at one stage in the second half like the hosts would carve Wales open, but where England faded last week, Warren Gatland’s side grew to end their campaign in a much more positive manner.

Let’s be clear - Wales are still a long way off, but there were plenty of good bits to give Gatland a little more confidence leading in to his summer of World Cup preparations.


16:29 , Harry Latham-Coyle

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

TRY! France 41-28 WALES (Rio Dyer, 80 minutes)

16:27 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Wales will go away with a bonus point!

That’s a top finish from Rio Dyer. Justin Tipuric puts the ball in his gas-man’s hands, and the wing bolts between Damian Penaud and Thomas Ramos, sending the pair sprawling away as he keeps his legs churning.

He slides over to ensure the last note is a Welsh one - Leigh Halfpenny’s final act in the Six Nations, you would think, is a typically precise touchline conversion to further narrow the final margin.

TRY! FRANCE 41-21 Wales (Damian Penaud try, 78 minutes)

16:24 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Another simple run-in for Damian Penaud!

France bide their time and pick their moment to play wide, with the right wing in space and screaming for the ball. Thomas Ramos evades Rio Dyer to ensure the space remains as he releases a pass, and Penaud ambles in for his second try of the afternoon. Up the French try-scoring charts he continues to climb - he’s beyond the late, great Christophe Dominici now.

Ramos converts superbly once more.

France 34-21 Wales, 76 minutes

16:23 , Harry Latham-Coyle

France’s maul is collapsed by a Welshman. Penalty.

Peato Mauvaka taps and rumbles. Maxime Lucu runs a switch play with Jonathan Danty, who pushes close. Six Nations debutant Bastien Chalureau nearly reaches the line with a long plant of the left arm, but is stopped short.

France 34-21 Wales, 75 minutes

16:22 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Another Ramos nudge is carried over the touchline by a corner-flagging Tomos Williams.

Three French changes. Yoram Moefana, Maxime Lucu and Sekou Macalou come on, with Ethan Dumortier, Antoine Dupont and Charles Ollivon replaced.

Leigh Halfpenny and Owen Williams are introduced by Warren Gatland.

France 34-21 Wales, 73 minutes

16:20 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Just a little spice to proceedings now, with a few off-ball collisions and hefty contacts around the ruck bringing the crowd into the contest. Romain Ntamack topples over a grounded Louis Rees-Zammit as he takes impressively in the air, but the Wales full back’s challenge was legal.

Rees-Zammit provides speedy cover to ensure Thomas Ramos’ kick in behind is not first grounded by French hands. Goalline drop out.

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