Andy Farrell says Ireland’s destiny is in their own hands when the 2020 Guinness Six Nations resumes in October.
Ireland began their Championship campaign with wins against Scotland and Wales before losing to England at Twickenham in Round 3 to halt their momentum under their new coach.
But with two games still to play – against Italy and France – Ireland can still finish above current leaders England and become champions with two bonus-point wins.
Date for Guinness Six Nations restart confirmed
Fellow Championship contenders England, France and Scotland only have one match left to play, a fact Farrell believes should give his side plenty of encouragement.
“We were gutted the competition didn’t keep rolling on,” he said, speaking via video link.
“After a disappointing game against England, the only thing the boys wanted to do was get back on the horse against France. We had a great reflection week and we were brimming to go over to Paris and see what we could do.
“Having said that, to be able to reflect on the short campaign and know what’s in front of us has been a good time to use. The destiny is in our hands.
“Although it is a tough old task with the games to come. We’ve got to perform against Italy first, we’ve got to make sure we get what we want out of that game.
“They’ll be reflecting like we have and they’re going to be tough, first game up.”
The four Irish provinces return to Guinness PRO14 action later this month and Farrell says his players know what they need to do in the coming months to be successful.
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“All our lads are aware, I’ve been in contact with them, they know what is coming around the corner, from the inter-pro games to get selected and back into that Six Nations,” he said.
“We know it is there to be won and we will be hungry to do that and we won’t be frightened by that. Italy will be tough.
“France away is a hell of a game, isn’t it? But it’s there. It’s in our hands and we want to attack that full steam ahead.”