England Rugby Players on the pitch

England v Ireland Six Nations – Classic Encounters No.5

Ahead of the eagerly anticipated clash at Twickenham as England face Ireland in round three of the RBS Six Nations 2016, we look back at some classic games between these two great rugby nations.

We kick-off our countdown with a game from the first ever Six Nations clash between the sides in the year 2000, where England ran riot at Twickenham in a scintillating clash which saw Clive Woodward’s men run out 50-18 victors.

England pile on points in Six Nations epic

The hosts started the game in with some huge carries and deft offloads from the pack which featured the likes of Richard Hill, Neil Back, Lawrence Dallaglio and Simon Shaw. It took just 18 minutes for England to cross the line as debutant Ben Cohen sliced through the defence after a period of relentless pressure.

Just ten minutes later England added their second try after some wonderful interplay involving Cohen and Jonny Wilkinson, Austin Healy crossed under the posts. Healy added his second try just before the break after a superb break from Mike Catt.

It took England less than ninety seconds to register their first score of the second half as Neil Back crashed over after some brilliant play from Matt Dawson.

Another debutant, Mike Tindall, scored on his debut as he finished off another fine flowing move from the exhilarating English backline. In the final play of the game Healy and Back linked up well and sent Cohen into space, the giant winger flew down the line to score his second and complete the rout.

This game was without doubt one of the most important of the Clive Woodward era, as it signalled the start of a change in style, with England prepared to really throw the ball around and stretch the opposition.

Players like Wilkinson, Cohen, Back, Hill, Vickery and Dallaglio would all prove crucial to this style as England became World Champions three years later.

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