“As soon as you’ve grabbed a championship, or hopefully a Grand Slam, you’re back to Munster and you’re thinking ‘we’ve got a big quarter-final”.
There are changes to the pack too with Dan Cole dropped for Kyle Sinckler at prop and George Kruis picked ahead of Joe Launchbury in the second row.
Restored as captain and hooker after missing the 22-16 defeat in Paris with a tight calf last weekend, Hartley doesn’t view the slump as a terminal decline.
There is also a new-look back row, with James Haskell starting at openside flanker, Sam Simmonds at number eight and Chris Robshaw moved back to blindside. It was my first time in that stadium, and we travelled over in the morning.
“We’ve only lost one Test to the scummy Irish”, Jones said in the video.
“I don’t think any of the team would care if it was 3-0, I don’t think we would be uninspired by a 3-0 victory”, he said.
“Te’o and JJ (Jonathan Joseph) have a big job to do”.
Ireland: R Kearney; Earls, Ringrose, Aki, Stockdale; Sexton, Murray; Healy, Best (capt), Furlong, Ryan, Henderson, O’Mahony, Leavy, Stander.
“They aren’t accustomed to losing and they’re certainly not accustomed to losing three games on the trot”.
Since he took over in late 2013, Ireland have won 73 per cent of their games, collected three Six Nations titles and beaten the All Blacks for the first time in history.
There were numerous failings prior to success for that England side.
Boss Eddie Jones and the England camp have made life hard for themselves this week as footage emerged of the coach making reference to the “scummy Irish”, in addition an effort to better understand the problems they are having at the breakdown resulted in World Rugby changing the touchjudge for the game when it emerged that Marius van der Westhuizen had trained with the team last Tuesday.
The Australian made the comments last July during a seminar on leadership for England sponsor Fuso, the parent company of Mitsubishi.
They would even have whole good years, like 2009 when they won a Grand Slam and went through the calendar year unbeaten.
Speaking at the team hotel in Bagshot – and you were minded to be careful how you pronounced that name, given Jones’s much-publicised description of Wales – the England head coach apologised for his words again and accepted in vague terms that he might reconsider his future speaking engagements.
In charge since 2015, Jones says the past few weeks have been “testing”.
“It’s important that we go through the same routine that we have for the previous four games”.
With Ireland on the cusp of achieving something truly great – winning a Grand Slam in Twickenham, it would be natural for nervousness to be present among the squad, something which Best believes is natural and not a bad thing.
“That works both ways, I wish I knew the joy it brought to people outside the group”.
Now on eight points, should they lose in Rome, the Scots would finish fifth.