England coach Graham Rowntree eager for revenge over Ireland
England's quest for revenge will ensure Saturday's final Rugby World Cup warm-up match against Ireland is anything but a friendly, according to scrum coach Graham Rowntree
Five months ago, England had their Grand Slam ambitions shattered at the Aviva Stadium as Ireland produced a ferocious performance to win 24-8.
England return to Dublin this weekend to complete their World Cup preparations having beaten Wales at home and then lost in frustrating fashion in Cardiff.
But now there is something on the line and Rowntree believes another defeat to Ireland would leave England under pressure going into the World Cup.
Ireland are in a similar boat, having lost to Scotland and twice to France over the last three weeks. There should be no shortage of intensity on show.
And just a fortnight before England open their World Cup campaign against Argentina in Dunedin, that is exactly what Rowntree wants.
"This game is definitely not a friendly," he said.
"We have not forgotten what they did to us over there. We got well beaten that day and that is in the back of our minds.
"It will be fuelling our fires at the weekend, that's for sure.
"That's the beauty of playing a game like this against Ireland so close to getting on the plane.
"We are purposely playing this close to the World Cup so we get on the plane battle hardened. That means coming off the back of an intense game with a win.
"We were frustrated with that loss in Wales. You only had to look at the gaffer's (Martin Johnson's) face after the game. I'd think Ireland are disappointed with their losses so far.
"If we lose it will put a bit of pressure on us. It would be nothing we can't handle - but it will put a bit of pressure on us for sure."
England failed to live with Ireland's intensity in the Six Nations meeting and that performance gave Johnson, Rowntree and the management some serious food for thought.
"They brought an intensity to the game, to the breakdown and set piece that they hadn't really brought all tournament. They saved that one for us," said Rowntree.
"We have had a good look at that video in the training camp and it has given us a few things to work on."
England fielded mix-and-match teams against Wales but Rowntree confirmed they plan to name their strongest available team to tackle Ireland.
Loosehead prop Andrew Sheridan is in line to make his first appearance of the warm-up campaign against Ireland after recovering from summer shoulder surgery.
But England will be without squad captain Lewis Moody and scrum-half Ben Youngs, who remain sidelined as they continue their comeback from knee injuries.
Joe Simpson, selected as England's third scrum-half behind Youngs and Richard Wigglesworth, is set to make his Test debut. Johnson confirms his selection on Thursday.
"We'll have our strongest team out," said Rowntree.
"I am not suggesting it will be our starting team against Argentina because we have still got a few positions to sort out in the pecking order.
"In crucial positions we have people challenging. That is a good thing this close to the World Cup.
"Ben and Lewis wont be involved this weekend. Whether they are involved against Argentina, we will see after week one in New Zealand."
James Haskell was today undergoing a scan on a "minor foot injury".
How Liverpool can catch Manchester United and secure Champions League football next season
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger reveals: 'We are not close to signing anybody. We need to lose some players'
Danny Jones: Keighley Cougars half-back dies after cardiac arrest during league game
Chelsea season player ratings: Grading the entire squad of the new Premier League champions
Floyd Mayweather beats Manny Pacquiao by a unanimous points decision - but Pacquiao thinks he should have won, saying 'he did nothing'
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 4 The top 50 cities for young people to live in
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils