'Haven't got a beard anymore ... it apparently makes you go faster'


Ireland v England - View from the opposition:England have not won in Ireland since 2003 and were denied a Grand Slam on their last visit in 2011.

However, there was a lot of talk of “maturity” and lessons learned coming from Stuart Lancaster’s camp as the Chariot closed in on Lansdowne during the week.

"This is a completely different team going to Dublin from 2011, with a completely different mentality," - England coach Stuart Lancaster dismissing the notion his side will be blown away in Dublin as they were two years ago.

"Playing the Irish in Dublin is a unique challenge. We've got to be able to deal with the emotion of the occasion and still think clearly, making good, accurate decisions. That will be the true test of our maturity. It's a great challenge for us. - Lancaster again on what needs to be different this time.

"I'm a far better player now after that experience. To lose the Grand Slam is never nice. I got sin-binned and things just didn't go my way. As hard as it is to deal with those moments and games, I am a strong believer that as you make mistakes you get better. - England scrumhalf Ben Youngs who was yellow-carded in 2011 after throwing the ball away. He admitted afterwards he "played like an idiot".

"It was a lot to handle but I certainly came out the other side a far better player. I'd rather have taken a Grand Slam. But saying that, you have to go through those hard times and defeats because it makes you learn very, very quickly. This side want to minimise that - we want to learn whilst winning." - Youngs again.

"(Brian) O'Driscoll is playing exceptionally well at the moment. I thought that first half Ireland produced (against Wales) was exceptional. We know they are capable of doing that. - England skills coach Mike Catt.

"Defence is across the board. Everybody knows their roles. We need to focus on our attacking game too, which went pretty well against the Scots, and try and starve them of the ball so they can't do what they are good at. It is a little game of chess we have to try and win." - Catt on the little things that need to go right for England on Sunday.

"I haven't got a beard anymore and have a bit of stubble because it apparently makes you go faster. So, we will see on Sunday whether I will be skinning Brian O'Driscoll on the outside. It's unlikely. Clive is entitled to his opinion. If I am scoring a try from 50 metres out and skinning everyone, maybe he has got a point!" - England prop Joe Marler having taken the advice of Clive Woodward and had a shave.

"I know he's (Mike Ross) turned into a pretty reliable and tough scrummager for Ireland through playing week-in, week-out for Leinster. It will be a really big test. There are a lot of tightheads out there who are pretty wide. He's no different." - Marler on former Harlequins team-mate Mike Ross

"I have no interest in the history of previous games like that. I was not involved. - Marler not one for looking back in anger.

"I looked at the best way to give the team the best chance to win on Sunday and went with Manu (Tuilagi) off the bench. I'm sure he will be a handful. It also says a lot about the performances by Billy (Twelvetrees) and Brad (Barritt) last week as well. - Lancaster on his decision to leave Manu Tuilagi on the bench.

"Billy was quietly pleased with his debut although he doesn't shout it from the rooftops. He gives us another dimension to our attacking game and he deserves to keep his place. Brad has been outstandingly consistent and had another good game for us at the weekend. When you weigh the situation up, when you look at what they (Twelvetrees and Barritt) have done and what Manu had not done then that was what led to the decision." - Lancaster on his faith in Twelvetrees and Barritt

“This game is as big as any game you get in world rugby. Coming to Dublin is as big a challenge as anywhere really, because of the history and rivalry and just how good the two teams are.” - England assistant coach Andy Farrell

“It is a challenge we are definitely ready for and up for. Graham Rowntree [Farrell’s fellow assistant coach] was part of that game two years ago and on reflection they got the preparation wrong, with it being too low key. Our preparation has been intense and we feel that is appropriate. We are really well prepared.” – Farrell again.

“We know the passion there is going to be and the intensity Irish sides bring. We are under no illusions exactly how hard and how intense it is going to be but these are the games you want to play. As a squad, we have had spikes of intensity all week.” - England captain Chris Robshaw.

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