Gordon D’Arcy: Change has to happen before Ireland's trip to Paris

All too predictably, the same pack that failed at the 2019 World Cup could not turn the page

England’s Maro Itoje and James Ryan of Ireland grapple during their  Guinness Six Nations Championship Round 3 match at Twickenham on Sunday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

England’s Maro Itoje and James Ryan of Ireland grapple during their Guinness Six Nations Championship Round 3 match at Twickenham on Sunday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Change needed to happen before Twickenham. Now it has to happen before Paris. Nothing wholesale, nothing knee-jerk, but the time has come to reward in-form Irish players.

Manu Tuilagi’s perfectly timed run between the seam of Johnny Sexton and Josh van der Flier, gaining an easy 15 metres before CJ Stander stalled the rampage, put England on the front foot. Tuilagi had already carried nine metres off the first lineout. With three minutes on the clock, Ireland had lost territorial and psychological battles.

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