Joe Schmidt said Eddie Jones’ unbeaten home record as England coach counts for little ahead of Ireland’s visit to Twickenham on Saturday in the NatWest 6 Nations.
Schmidt’s men sealed the Championship last weekend with a bonus-point victory over Scotland and are now aiming to win their third ever Grand Slam, having achieved the feat in 1948 and 2009.
This will be Jones 14th game at Twickenham, having tasted victory in all 13 previous fixtures.
Schmidt said: “History doesn’t protect you from the future and we knew that today.
“We hadn’t lost in five years in the NatWest 6 Nations here in Dublin and it didn’t protect us.
“We had to go out and win again and that’s all part of the challenge.
“We have to go to Twickenham and try and test that record out.
“It won’t be uppermost in our thinking because you can be distracted looking back, when you really need to be going forward.
“And in this Championship, if you don’t keep going forward you do get left behind.
Schmidt admitted that Ireland’s main focus will be winning the game and on continuing to improve as a squad and a team.
Ireland’s 28-8 win at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday came against a Scotland side that Schmidt considered to have improved significantly since the Championship’s opening weekend.
He said: “From where Scotland started this Championship, away to Wales in Cardiff, how much better are they now?
“And that’s no disrespect to their first performance, but to come from 17-7 behind against France and to do what they did to England.
“They were massively up for it, so we didn’t feel that our five-year unbeaten run here in the NatWest 6 Nations protected us and I’m pretty sure Eddie (Jones) and the English boys will be fully focused on winning the game, not reflecting on the last two years that they’ve remained unbeaten there.”
Schmidt admitted that a Grand Slam win would give him great satisfaction and made it clear that his players would be fully focused on the task in hand despite having sewn up the Championship with a game to spare.
He said: “I work with these young men who go out and do an incredibly difficult job and they work incredibly hard and it would give me satisfaction to see that rewarded.
“They’re a great bunch, they acquit themselves to very tough moments incredibly well and you want to see that rewarded.
“I don’t think winning the Championship already will make it any harder to focus.
“If you can’t motivate yourself for a Test match at Twickenham against England it’s always going to be a difficult ask if you’re in a green jersey.
“We’re incredibly motivated because we know the standard England have set.
“They have been incredibly consistent, incredibly difficult to beat and we’ve no doubt that will be the case next week as well.”