Rory Best is confident Ireland can continue their perfect start to the Guinness Six Nations at Twickenham on Sunday as they have “too many good players” not to be successful.
In their first Championship campaign under new head coach Andy Farrell, who replaced Joe Schmidt after the World Cup, Ireland started with a hard-fought 19-12 victory over Scotland.
Farrell’s men then backed up that success by ending Wales’ hopes of back-to-back Grand Slam titles with an impressive 24-14 win in Dublin to sit level with France at the top of the standings.
And Best, who captained Ireland to the Grand Slam in 2018, insists he is not surprised by how they have started the Championship as they prepare to face England at Twickenham.
“I think they have been really good,” said Best, who retired from Ireland duty after the World Cup.
“I actually thought Ireland were going to have a good Six Nations. There are too many good players pulling on that green jersey for Ireland not to be successful.
“It’s a really strong start and hopefully they can continue that into Twickenham, which is a really difficult place to go.
“England are under a little bit of pressure but at the end of the day they’re World Cup finalists so they’re going to be incredibly tough but that’s not to say Ireland can’t do it.”
Best, who won 124 caps during his 15-year Ireland career, also praised his former Ulster teammate Rob Herring for the way he has grasped his chance at hooker by the scruff of the neck.
“He’s playing really well,” said Best. “Rob’s a great player and I think from an Ulster point of view, it was nice that whenever I gave the shirt up it was an Ulster player who came in and took it.
“It’s good to have that Ulster continuity, but also from his point of view, he’s had a really strong start in that Irish pack and long may that continue.”