French rugby not in a great current state but one lapse in concentration and they remain capable of stealing a match

The English pack clear a ruck against Ireland during last year’s Six Nations clash. “Ireland will need to dominate the English pack with their mauling which was simply glorious against Wales.” Photograph: Colm O’Neill/Inpho

The Irish scrum has been superb thus far and must attack the English set-piece with real venom

Andrew Coombs and Peter O’Mahony of Ireland grapple for the ball in the lineout during last season’s RBS Six Nations Championship fixture. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Home side must display character and true grit if they are to slay this impressive dragon

Joe Schmidt talks to his team in November. This Ireland team must find a measure of consistency. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Now is the time to end the team’s swings from excellence to mediocrity

Gordon D’Arcy is greatly underestimated in Irish rugby. It is only when he is absent that people see his real value. Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

If the Irish pack are the same soft proposition in tomorrow’s game, they will be torn apart

I am a ‘Quade doubter’ but I have to admit, I have been mightily impressed by Cooper’s performances since his return. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

Australia may beat Ireland but their big task is saving the game at home

Getting the message across: Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt speaks to his players at the Captain’s Run at the Aviva Stadium yesterday.

The new coach can’t expect to produce a magic bullet straight away

 Jamie Roberts of the Lions is mobbed by team-mates Conor Murray and George North  after scoring the Lions’ fourth try against Australia during the third and final Test at the  ANZ Stadium  in Sydney, Australia. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images)

Tour has been an outstanding success in every way

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