Six Nations 2014: Ireland still wary of England scrum despite injury problems

The sides meet at Twickenham on Saturday

England's lack of depth at tighthead prop will not damage their scrummaging at Twickenham on Saturday, according to Ireland's Mike Ross.

Head coach Stuart Lancaster has previously admitted England need to usher in the next wave of tightheads, to add cover for frontline duo Dan Cole and Davey Wilson.

Leicester tighthead Cole has a bulging disc in his neck, and may not play again this season, so will certainly miss Saturday's RBS 6 Nations clash with Ireland.

Wilson has just returned from injury in the nick of time to solve a potential tighthead shortage, with Sale's Henry Thomas and Harlequins's 22-year-old Will Collier next in line.

England have trialled a number of tightheads in senior and Saxons action without huge success, the likes of Paul Doran-Jones yet to make the grade.

Former Harlequin Ross admitted surprise England are scratching around for prop depth, but rejected any notion of an easy ride at the set-piece this weekend.

"Their problem is the loss of a few guys to injury, that has taxed their resources a bit, but it is a small bit surprising," said the 34-year-old Leinster tighthead.

"There is a young lad playing at Harlequins, Will Collier, who any time I've seen him I was pretty impressed with him.

"He looks like a good prospect for the future but he is out injured too.

"There is Paul Doran-Jones, he is just back from injury too.

"Around the rest of them, at Northampton you have Salesi Mafu starting ahead of Tom Mercey, so that's not an option.

"You look at Sarries and they have got Matt Stevens who is retired from international rugby.

"They do have 12 clubs around different options although some of those are foreigners starting, others where lads are injured."

Ireland's scrum proved a potent weapon in opening Six Nations victories over Scotland and Wales, but Ross expects a far greater test against England.

Warning Ireland to clamp down on hooker Dylan Hartley's destructive scrummaging, Ross said: "Dan Cole is out and we knew they were not going to have Alex Corbisiero available to them.

"We didn't expect Cole to be missing this weekend but at the same time Wilson came back last weekend just in time, you know.

"And if you look at his form during the autumn internationals he is probably pushing Cole pretty hard.

"So we are not really seeing it as big a loss as it could have been.

"They are big aggressive boys. I know Joe Marler from Harlequins.

"He was in the academy when I was there and he was always burning the ear off us like a senior front-row for tips and advice.

"Dylan Hartley brings an aggressive edge to it and he's always chirping away in the middle of it, you know, nothing offensive.

"He does talk a fair bit to his front-row and keeps them under control.

"He really attacks the joint between the tighthead and the hooker to fracture that.

"Once that's done it's open season on you and the loosehead coming across on you."

PA

BUY RUGBY WORLD CUP TICKETS

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
health
News
science
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
News
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Sport
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power