England head coach Eddie Jones has attempted to undermine Wales’ Grand Slam bid by declaring they must face Ireland while suffering from fatigue.
Warren Gatland’s men will be crowned Six Nations champions if they prevail at the Principality Stadium in the second of Saturday’s three fixtures.
But England are waiting to pounce knowing that if Wales falter, then victory over Scotland in the finale to the tournament at Twickenham will propel them to the title.
Jones has ramped up the pressure by insisting resurgent Ireland are ready to capitalise on Welsh weariness.
“I’m just saying what I see and I see a team that’s looking tired. It’s tough. You can see they’re getting tired,” Jones said.
“They have made more tackles than anyone else in the tournament and they are playing against an Ireland side that seems to be peaking at the right time.
“Ireland have had a few players off the pace, which happens. Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray have been off the pace a little bit, but now they look like they’ve got their mojo back.
“They’re working well together. It was quite evident in the last game that their relationship was stronger than it has been for a while.
“You’ve got Garry Ringrose playing well, Peter O’Mahony coming back. James Ryan went through a little bit of… he was the star and everyone targeted him.
“Now he’s finding his feet again. They’re in a good spot. And they’ve got a lot to prove in the last game.”
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