England will be looking to turn the tables on Grand Slam-chasing Ireland on the final day of the 2018 NatWest 6 Nations, according to their former prop Alex Corbisiero.
Ireland clinched the Championship with a game to spare after their 28-8 victory over Scotland at the Aviva Stadium was followed by England’s 22-16 defeat in France.
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With four wins out of four, the Irish are now just one game away from completing just the third Grand Slam in their history and emulating their great sides of 1948 and 2009.
In an added twist, this comes one year after they denied England back-to-back Grand Slams by defeating Eddie Jones’ side 13-6 in Dublin and ending their world record-equalling 18-match winning streak.
Corbisiero, who was part of the English side that missed out on a Grand Slam thanks to a defeat to Ireland in 2011, said: “The big storyline, for me, is the shot at revenge for England.
“Ireland have the chance to achieve something very special because the Grand Slam comes around – especially for the Irish – once in a generation, occasionally twice in a generation.
“But these England players last year had their party spoiled in Dublin.
“They went there with a chance to back up their Grand Slam, went to Ireland and they were taught a lesson.
“Even though they’ll be disappointed and they’ll be trying to dust themselves off, there’s motivation to go out there and spoil the Irish party and get one back after that.
“I’ve been there where we’ve lost a game for a Grand Slam and it haunts you, it stays with you.
“They’ve got a chance to put it right, but it’s going to be very tough – Ireland are superb, their blend of experience of youth and just the way it’s all come together in the competition for them.”
While the title may be wrapped up for Ireland, there’s still plenty to play for in the final round of fixtures, with four teams in with a chance of finishing second in the table.
Wales currently occupy the runners-up spot, but only three points separate them from fifth-placed Scotland, with England and France in between, and Corbisiero is excited to see how the scramble for second plays out.
He said: “That’s what makes this Championship so exciting, second place is still to play for and second through fifth can all shift this weekend.
“We’ve got a Grand Slam game coming up, so there’s going to be a lot of spice this weekend.
“There’s always a combustible finish to this competition. I really, really can’t wait.”