Gerry Thornley: Six Nations a different trial from autumn series

Schmidt: ‘Hopefully, after today, they’ll appreciate they can live up to these big matches’

Gerry Thornley and Liam Toland discuss Ireland's win against Italy. Video: John O'Sullivan

After the Murrayfield hiccup, the weekend couldn’t have gone much better for Ireland. Following on from their record Six Nations win and the competition’s first attacking bonus point in Saturday’s 63-10 victory over Italy, France’s 22-16 success over Scotland in Paris yesterday left Joe Schmidt’s team in clear second place after two rounds.

Ireland also remain the bookies’ clear second favourites to win the title before hosting France at the Aviva Stadium in a fortnight’s time, albeit England’s odds have hardened to retain the trophy after their last-ditch win away to Wales leaves them in pole position. Eddie Jones’ team now entertain Italy and Scotland at Twickenham before the tournament’s finale on the last weekend in Dublin.

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