Tag Archives: ulster

Chris Ashton backed by Saracens coach Paul Gustard

Ashton backed by Saracens coach Gustard after poor Six Nations

By
Rob Wildman

PUBLISHED:

21:49 GMT, 2 April 2013

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UPDATED:

07:14 GMT, 3 April 2013

Chris Ashton, the under-fire England wing, has received the backing of Saracens defence coach Paul Gustard.

The club head into Saturday’s Heineken Cup quarter-final against Ulster at Twickenham believing Ashton is in excellent form despite his poor Six Nations campaign that led to an inquest into his tackling.

Ashton scored his first try in almost two months last Saturday, against Wasps, and Gustard expects more in the Heineken Cup.

Out of sorts: Ashton scored just one try in the Six Nations

Out of sorts: Ashton scored just one try in the Six Nations

Jumping for joy: Chris Ashton celebrates after scoring against Wasps

Jumping for joy: Ashton celebrates after scoring against Wasps last weekend

‘Even if Chris had not scored a try, it does not mean he’s not played well,’ Gustard said. ‘He’s done really, really well for us in the last two weeks and is in a good place after a good show at Wasps.

The problem of being a wing in rugby is that it’s a bit like being a goalkeeper in football. You are the last line in defence; a mistake can cost you.

‘Chris is not a bad defender. Sometimes, he misses a tackle but so what Everyone misses a tackle,’ Gustard added.

On the run: Ashton charges upfield playing for Saracens

On the run: Ashton charges upfield playing for Saracens

He could also be Ashton’s coach on England’s summer tour of Argentina if he does not make the Lions trip to Australia.

Gustard is taking over temporarily because Andy Farrell will help coach the Lions with Warren Gatland.

‘I’m not going to change the way England defend,’ he said. ‘The system has worked well over the last season. It’s a matter of learning and developing as a coach.’

Alex Cuthbert of Wales is out for six weeks after tearing hamstring against England

Wales winger Cuthbert out for six weeks after tearing hamstring against England

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

18:24 GMT, 20 March 2013

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UPDATED:

19:25 GMT, 20 March 2013

Wales winger Alex Cuthbert has been ruled out for up to six weeks with a hamstring tear sustained in Saturday's RBS 6 Nations title-clinching victory over England.

Cuthbert, who scored two tries in the 30-3 rout at the Millennium Stadium, will miss at least four of the Cardiff Blues' remaining five RaboDirect PRO 12 matches.

If the injury takes six weeks to heal, he will also be sidelined for their final game against Ulster on
May 3.

Sidelined: Wales' Alex Cuthbert is to be out for six weeks

Sidelined: Wales' Alex Cuthbert is to be out for six weeks

'Alex suffered a grade two hamstring strain in the first 30 minutes of the match against England. He is expected to be out for between four to six weeks,' read a statement released by the Blues.

Cuthbert is expected to tour with the British & Irish Lions this summer and while the injury will not affect his chances of travelling to Australia, it will leave him short of match fitness ahead of the first game against the Barbarians in Hong Kong on June 1.

'Grade two strain': It is Cuthbert's hamstring that is proving the problem

'Grade two strain': It is Cuthbert's hamstring that is proving the problem

Ulster 9 Northampton 10: Saints blow group wide open with tight win at Ravenhill

Ulster 9 Northampton 10: Van the man seals
Saints' stirring win

PUBLISHED:

21:22 GMT, 15 December 2012

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UPDATED:

21:42 GMT, 15 December 2012

Northampton Saints produced a stirring defensive display to end Ulster's four-year unbeaten run at Ravenhill.

Northampton No 8 GJ Van Velze scored the game's only try as Jim Mallinder's side recovered from last week's humbling defeat to blow Pool Four wide open.

Not since 2008 had Ulster lost a European tie in Belfast but Ruan Pienaar missed a late winner as Saints held on. Northampton were facing the embarrassment of a second season without reaching the quarter-finals of Europe's elite competition.

Ben Foden of Northampton takes on Paddy Jackson

Breaking free: Northamton's Ben Foden in action with Ulster's Paddy Jackson

Against last year's finalists,
unbeaten so far this season, Northampton threw everything into a
predictably physical opening and their abrasiveness and aggression saw
fly-half Stephen Myler land an early penalty.

With so many South Africans in
Ulster's ranks, it was little surprise that Saints No 8 Van Velze felt
as though he was at a home from home.

And the forward swatted aside Andrew
Trimble to touch down in the corner on 18 minutes. Myler added the
conversion to open a 10-0 lead that, in such a closely contested tie,
could prove decisive.

 Tom Court of Ulster is tackled by Lee Dickson

Crashing down: Saints pummeled the Ulster line after last week's embarrassing defeat

Against last year's finalists,
unbeaten so far this season, Northampton threw everything into a
predictably physical opening and their abrasiveness and aggression saw
fly-half Stephen Myler land an early penalty.

With so many South Africans in
Ulster's ranks, it was little surprise that Saints No 8 Van Velze felt
as though he was at a home from home.

And the forward swatted aside Andrew
Trimble to touch down in the corner on 18 minutes. Myler added the
conversion to open a 10-0 lead that, in such a closely contested tie,
could prove decisive.

Having been humbled at home last
week by the RaboDirect Pro12 leaders, Saints restricted Ulster
effectively and it was not until 31 minutes that Paddy Jackson finally
got on the scoreboard with his first penalty.

Northampton's Dylan Hartley (2nd L), Paul Doran Jones and Alex Waller (R) look dejected with team mates

Hard fought win: Northampton's Dylan Hartley (2nd left), Paul Doran Jones and Alex Waller (right)

Ulster's New Zealander Nick Williams
used his huge frame to break the visitors' line twice but lacked the
pace to finish and Ulster showed niether the patience nor the accuracy
to take advantage.

Jackson landed a second penalty and the Ulster fly-half's third kick drew the home side to within a point.

Saints centre Tom May fumbled a golden scoring chance when he failed to collect a delicate kick by Myler.

However, Ulster also had chances as Williams was held short and Rory Best and Craig Gilroy went close.

Even when Ulster looked certain to score after Myler's drop-goal was charged down, the Saints defence somehow survived.

Paddy Wallace broke clear and when he
passed to rising Ireland star Gilroy, a try appeared innevitable only
for Jamie Elliott to snuff out the danger.

The Saints wing came up trumps again
three minutes from time to deny Tommy Bowe, who was carried off with a
serious knee injury. The delay may have distracted Pienaar, who pushed
his penalty wide.

Nevin Spence tribute planned by Aviva Premiership clubs

Premiership sides to observe minute silence in tribute to tragic Ulster star Spence

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UPDATED:

15:54 GMT, 21 September 2012

Tributes will be paid throughout the Aviva Premiership this weekend to Ulster rugby player Nevin Spence.

The 22-year-old was killed, along with his father and brother, in an accident on the family farm in Northern Ireland last weekend.

A minute's silence will be observed before all six Premiership games, starting with Sale's match against London Welsh and followed by matches hosted by London Irish, Northampton, Gloucester, Leicester and Exeter.

Tribute: Aviva Premiership clubs will observe a minute silence in honour of tragic Ulster star Nevin Spence

Tribute: Aviva Premiership clubs will observe a minute silence in honour of tragic Ulster star Nevin Spence

Luke Benedict

Sale, meanwhile, will also remember Greater Manchester Police officers Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone, who were killed in a gun and grenade attack earlier this week.

'After the devastating events of last weekend, it is entirely appropriate that the whole of the rugby world remembers Nevin and his family this weekend,' Premiership Rugby rugby director Phil Winstanley said.

'In times like these rugby as a sport pulls together, and Premiership Rugby and all the Aviva Premiership clubs want to remember Nevin and show support for his family and for Ulster Rugby at this extremely difficult time.'

Nevin Spence funeral: Tributes paid to rugby player

Tributes paid to rising rugby star Spence after tragic death on farm

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UPDATED:

16:32 GMT, 19 September 2012

A woman who bravely tried in vain to rescue her father and two brothers – one of them rugby player Nevin Spence – when they were overcome by fumes has paid an emotional tribute to them at their funeral.

Emma Spence twice climbed into a manhole and then down into a slurry tank on the family farm near Hillsborough, Co Down, where her father Noel, 58, and brothers Graham, 30, and Ulster Rugby player Nevin, 22, all died at the weekend.

'They were gentlemen,' Miss Spence told mourners at nearby Ballynahinch Baptist Church. They were hard-working men. They were not perfect but they were genuine. They were best friends.

In mourning: Ulster Rugby players and officals arrive the funeral service

In mourning: Ulster Rugby players and officals arrive the funeral service

'They were Godly men – they didn't talk about God, they just did God. They were just ordinary, but God made them extraordinary.'

Miss Spence, who was admitted to hospital after Saturday's accident, was accompanied by her sister Laura, their mother Essie and Graham's wife Andrea at the funeral service.

Members of the Ulster Rugby team carried Nevin's coffin into and out of the church.

Prospect: Nevin Spence was a talented rugby player

Prospect: Nevin Spence was a talented rugby player

Irish rugby coach Declan Kidney and
Tyrone Gaelic football manager Mickey Harte were among other well-known
sporting faces amid more than 2,000 people who attended.

It
is understood the tragedy unfolded when Graham lowered a ladder into
the manhole to retrieve a pet dog which disappeared into the slurry
tank.

Graham's father then
went in to try to save his son and he was followed by Nevin when he
realised the other two were in danger from the poisonous slurry fumes.

Tragedy: The three coffins leave Ballynahinch Baptist church

Tragedy: The three coffins leave Ballynahinch Baptist church

The pastor spoke fondly of rising sporting star Nevin.

He said the young man tipped to represent Ireland at international level did not consider himself a famous rugby player.

The minister recalled an icebreaker
game at a recent church event when Nevin, when asked for a word to
describe himself, chose 'normal'.

'That is really how he viewed himself
and he, like Noel and Graham, attributed his ability to keep his feet
on the ground, his head out of the clouds and his life on an even keel
as directly related to the relationship he had with God through Jesus
Christ,' he said.

Heartbreak: Essie Spence (second right) wife of Noel and the mother of Graham and Nevin Spence

Heartbreak: Essie Spence (second right) wife of Noel and the mother of Graham and Nevin Spence

Nevin Spence dies: Ulster centre tragedy trying to save father in slurry pit accident

Ulster star Spence dies while trying to save father in horrific slurry pit accident

|

UPDATED:

09:14 GMT, 16 September 2012

Ulster centre Nevin Spence was killed alongside his brother and their father in a farming tragedy on Saturday which also injured their sister in Northern Ireland.

The 22-year-old rose to prominence playing for Ulster Rugby and was a rising star in Ireland's international rugby scene but died after falling into a slurry tank.

Emergency crews went to the family farm in Drumlough Road outside Hillsborough, Co Down, shortly after 6pm on Saturday following reports that four people had fallen into the slurry pit.

Shock: Professional rugby player Nevin Spence died along with his father and brother after falling into a slurry pit on the family farm

Shock: Professional rugby player Nevin Spence died along with his father and brother after falling into a slurry pit on the family farm

Terrible episode: Nevin died alongside his father Noel and brother Graham in the shocking accident on the farm

Terrible episode: Nevin died alongside his father Noel and brother Graham in the shocking accident on the farm

Following a lengthy rescue operation it was confirmed that three men had died and a woman was taken to hospital for treatment for the inhalation of fumes.

Nevin Spence was a member of the Ulster Rugby squad that reached the European Heineken cup final last season, and he was predicted to have a glittering international career ahead of him.

Rugby players and fans paid tribute to the young player on social media as news emerged of his involvement in the tragedy.

Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson said on Twitter: 'Deeply saddened to hear of the tragedy in Hillsborough this evening. My thoughts and prayers are with family at this time of devastation.'

Promising: Nevin Spence had a bright future ahead of him as a professional rugby player

Promising: Nevin Spence had a bright future ahead of him as a professional rugby player

Tributes appeared on Twitter feeds representing both the British and Irish Lions and the RaboDirect Pro12, the league in which Ulster play.

The Lions post read: 'All our thoughts are with the family and friends of Ulster centre Nevin Spence, his father and brother. Reportedly died in accident.'

The post on the Pro12 account read: 'Shocked. We just read about Nevin Spence. RIP. There are no words.'
Spence's erstwhile Ulster team-mate, fly-half Ian Humphreys, wrote: 'Devastated to hear the news about Nevin Spence and his brother and dad. Prayers with all his family… RIP Nev, you'll never be forgotten…'

Former Ireland and Munster hooker Jerry Flannery added: 'Terrible news on Nevin Spence, his Brother and their Dad. Offering up prayers for their family and friends, unbelievably sad.'

Former Wales winger Shane Williams was also among those to pay their respects on the social media site, writing: 'My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Nevin Spence. A tragic loss. A class act on the field also. RIP.'

Lives have been lost in the past in accidents at other farm slurry tanks, but the scale of the latest tragedy caused widespread shock.

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) said it responded to a 999 call at about 6.15pm following reports that at least three people had fallen into a slurry tank.

It said it immediately sent three rapid response paramedics, four accident and emergency vehicles and an ambulance service doctor to the scene.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service also attended and rescued four people from the slurry pit.

A spokesman for the ambulance service said: 'Three were unconscious and NIAS paramedics commenced resuscitation efforts immediately assisted by other ambulance personnel.

Tragedy: Large numbers of emergency service vehicles attended the farm

Tragedy: Large numbers of emergency service vehicles attended the farm

'One of the four showed initial signs of responding to the efforts of the crews and was transported immediately to the nearby Lagan Valley Hospital, where unfortunately he died a short time later.

'Despite the best efforts of all involved the other two men died at the scene.

'A female was treated at the scene and taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital where she is recovering from the effects of fume inhalation.'

The ambulance service said it extended its sympathies to those involved.

The Ulster Farmers' Union said the tragedy had shocked the entire farming community.

Rory McIlroy paid tribute to rugby player Nevin Spence

Mark Allen paid tribute to rugby player Nevin Spence

Stunned: Golfer Rory McIlroy (left) and snooker player Mark Allen (right) led tributes to Nevin Spence

UFU president Harry Sinclair said: 'On behalf of all our members, I would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the family involved.

'This news has shocked the farming community. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the three men who have so tragically lost their lives.

'We understand that a fourth member of the family has been hospitalised and we pray that they will make a full recovery.'

Tributes also came from notable Northern Irish sportsmen Rory McIlroy and Mark Allen.

McIlroy, golf's world number one, wrote on his Twitter account: “Just heard the tragic news of Nevin Spence and his family. Makes you cherish every day you have on this Earth.'

Snooker star Allen added: 'What a loss for the family and for ulster and Irish rugby!! In shock here!!'

NEVIN SPENCE FACTFILE

1990: Born April 26 in Annahilt, Northern Ireland.

2009: June 5 – Scores a try on his Ireland Under-20 debut against Argentina.

2010: April 13 – Makes his professional debut for Ulster as a last-minute substitute against the Ospreys in what was then the Magners League.

December 18 – Scores his first try for the province to secure a Heineken Cup win over Bath.

2011: January 28 – Appears for the Irish Wolfhounds against Scotland A, his first of three appearances for the Ireland second-string side.

May 6 – Scores two tries in a 20-13 win over Newport Gwent Dragons to finish with five for the season.

May 29 – Features as a late replacement for the Ireland senior squad against the Barbarians at Kingsholm, having previously trained with the RBS 6 Nations squad.

September 15 – Killed along with his father and brother in an accident in a slurry tank on their family farm in Hillsborough, County Down.

Ulster centre Nevin Spence dies trying to save father in slurry pit accident

Ulster star Spence dies while trying to save father in horrific slurry pit accident

|

UPDATED:

07:04 GMT, 16 September 2012

Ulster centre Nevin Spence was killed alongside his brother and their father in a farming tragedy on Saturday which also injured their sister in Northern Ireland.

The 22-year-old rose to prominence playing for Ulster Rugby and was a rising star in Ireland's international rugby scene but died after falling into a slurry tank.

Emergency crews went to the family farm in Drumlough Road outside Hillsborough, Co Down, shortly after 6pm on Saturday following reports that four people had fallen into the slurry pit.

Terrible episode: Nevin died alongside his father Noel and brother Graham in the shocking accident on the farm

Terrible episode: Nevin died alongside his father Noel and brother Graham in the shocking accident on the farm

Following a lengthy rescue operation it was confirmed that three men had died and a woman was taken to hospital for treatment for the inhalation of fumes.

Nevin Spence was a member of the Ulster Rugby squad that reached the European Heineken cup final last season, and he was predicted to have a glittering international career ahead of him.

Rugby players and fans paid tribute to the young player on social media as news emerged of his involvement in the tragedy.

Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson said on Twitter: 'Deeply saddened to hear of the tragedy in Hillsborough this evening. My thoughts and prayers are with family at this time of devastation.'

He will be missed: Nevin Spence had a bright future ahead of him as a professional rugby player

He will be missed: Nevin Spence had a bright future ahead of him as a professional rugby player

Tributes appeared on Twitter feeds representing both the British and Irish Lions and the RaboDirect Pro12, the league in which Ulster play.

The Lions post read: 'All our thoughts are with the family and friends of Ulster centre Nevin Spence, his father and brother. Reportedly died in accident.'

The post on the Pro12 account read: 'Shocked. We just read about Nevin Spence. RIP. There are no words.'
Spence's erstwhile Ulster team-mate, fly-half Ian Humphreys, wrote: 'Devastated to hear the news about Nevin Spence and his brother and dad. Prayers with all his family… RIP Nev, you'll never be forgotten…'

Former Ireland and Munster hooker Jerry Flannery added: 'Terrible news on Nevin Spence, his Brother and their Dad. Offering up prayers for their family and friends, unbelievably sad.'

Former Wales winger Shane Williams was also among those to pay their respects on the social media site, writing: 'My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Nevin Spence. A tragic loss. A class act on the field also. RIP.'

Lives have been lost in the past in accidents at other farm slurry tanks, but the scale of the latest tragedy caused widespread shock.

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) said it responded to a 999 call at about 6.15pm following reports that at least three people had fallen into a slurry tank.

It said it immediately sent three rapid response paramedics, four accident and emergency vehicles and an ambulance service doctor to the scene.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service also attended and rescued four people from the slurry pit.

A spokesman for the ambulance service said: 'Three were unconscious and NIAS paramedics commenced resuscitation efforts immediately assisted by other ambulance personnel.

Tragedy: Large numbers of emergency service vehicles attended the farm

Tragedy: Large numbers of emergency service vehicles attended the farm

'One of the four showed initial signs of responding to the efforts of the crews and was transported immediately to the nearby Lagan Valley Hospital, where unfortunately he died a short time later.

'Despite the best efforts of all involved the other two men died at the scene.

'A female was treated at the scene and taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital where she is recovering from the effects of fume inhalation.'

The ambulance service said it extended its sympathies to those involved.

The Ulster Farmers' Union said the tragedy had shocked the entire farming community.

UFU president Harry Sinclair said: “On behalf of all our members, I would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the family involved.

'This news has shocked the farming community. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the three men who have so tragically lost their lives.

'We understand that a fourth member of the family has been hospitalised and we pray that they will make a full recovery.'

Tributes also came from notable Northern Irish sportsmen Rory McIlroy and Mark Allen.

McIlroy, golf's world number one, wrote on his Twitter account: “Just heard the tragic news of Nevin Spence and his family. Makes you cherish every day you have on this Earth.'

Snooker star Allen added: 'What a loss for the family and for ulster and Irish rugby!! In shock here!!'

Rob Kearney named European Player of the Year after Leinster heroics

Kearney lands European Player of the Year award after Leinster's Heineken heroics

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UPDATED:

17:53 GMT, 21 May 2012

Leinster full-back Rob Kearney has been named the European Player of the Year after his outstanding contribution to the Irish province's latest Heineken Cup triumph.

The 26-year-old Ireland international started all nine of Leinster's games as they became the first side to retain the trophy thanks to their crushing 42-14 final victory over Ulster at Twickenham on Saturday.

Just champion: Rob Kearney (left) won the Heineken Cup with Leinster again

Just champion: Rob Kearney (left) won the Heineken Cup with Leinster again

Kearney scored six tries in total during the campaign, and proved the matchwinner in the semi-final win over Clermont Auvergne by setting up Cian Healy's try and slotting a monster drop goal.

He succeeds team-mate Sean O'Brien as the winner of the award.

Kearney said: 'This is a massively proud moment for me. To be recognised for your performances throughout the season is a dream come true especially when it's in a European context.

Flying form: Kearney attacks Ulster during Saturday's final at Twickenham

Flying form: Kearney attacks Ulster during Saturday's final at Twickenham

'While I'm delighted with the recognition, an individual player is powerless without the support of his teammates. So I owe this award to the Leinster squad, to the management and to the all staff at the club.'

Kearney and his team-mates will look to complete the double when they face the Ospreys in Sunday's RaboDirect Pro12 final.

Ireland advertise for scrum coach

Ireland seek help with scrummaging after mauling at Twickenham

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UPDATED:

15:13 GMT, 20 March 2012

The Irish Rugby Football Union have advertised for a high performance scrum coach – just two days after Ireland's scrum was demolished by England.

Nine penalties were conceded during the set-piece in a 30-9 rout at Twickenham that exposed in the most excruciating way possible the lack of depth at tighthead.

Leinster tighthead prop Mike Ross had left the field with a neck injury sustained in the opening scrum and the arrival of Tom Court, who is more accomplished at loosehead, after half an hour hastened the disintegration in a humbling day for Irish rugby.

Demolished: Ireland's front row struggled at Twickenham

Demolished: Ireland's front row struggled at Twickenham

While the new scrum coach will work with under-age teams across the four provinces and have no involvement with the senior side, the timing of the advertisement is unfortunate.

The decision to create the post was made three months ago, but it has been publicised while memories of Saturday's Twickenham horror show remain fresh.

'Tom Court came on and went valiantly, but our balance was off,' coach Declan Kidney said after the match.

'That was always on the cards because we have guys who don't have huge tighthead experience playing for Ireland at the moment.

Short of numbers: Ireland struggled after Mike Ross went off injured

Short of numbers: Ireland struggled after Mike Ross went off injured

'It's something we'll have to work on and bring more Irish guys through.'

The problem facing Ireland is exacerbated by the fact that at Ulster and Munster, overseas players John Afoa and BJ Botha are the first choice tightheads.

Since winning the first of his 20 caps in 2009, Ross has stiffened a backpedalling scrum into a unit capable of holding its own, even against top opposition.

But his injury at Twickenham – probably the greatest contributing factor to the outcome – highlighted a problem that Kidney is all too aware of.

SIX NATIONS 2012: Ireland desperate to beat England

Ferris determined to lead Ireland to victory against 'arrogant' English

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UPDATED:

18:13 GMT, 14 March 2012

Stephen Ferris has accused England of being 'bad losers' as Ireland prepare to launch their assault on Twickenham.

Losing has become a habit in the fixture for the reigning RBS 6 Nations champions, who have tasted defeat in seven of their past eight championship meetings.

Ireland have also triumphed on three of their previous four trips to Twickenham and Ferris, the destructive Ulster flanker, hopes that sequence improves this weekend.

Up for it: Stephen Ferris (centre) is desperate to help Ireland beat England

Up for it: Stephen Ferris (centre) is desperate to help Ireland beat England

'If you ask any team who do they like beating and it's always the English. Why It's something I can't really put my finger on!' he said.

'We took so many beatings from England at under-age level. Any time we played under-18s, 19s or 20s we always received a thumping. I never beat them.

'They come with a bit of a tag about being arrogant and if you asked any team they'd probably say the same thing.

'They're a good side and are full of winners, but when they lose they don't like it.

'They're bad losers and hopefully they'll be bad losers on Saturday.'

Ferris' Ulster team-mate Rory Best, who will lead the side once again in the injury-enforced absence of Paul O'Connell, insists Ireland's superiority explains their impressive record against England.

'They've always been tough, close games but this Ireland side have been very good over the last 10 years and that's why we've edged it,' he said.

Winning feeling: A rejuvenated England beat France in Paris last weekend

Winning feeling: A rejuvenated England beat France in Paris last weekend

'England are on a high but we're going well as well. It will be mentally challenging. Whoever can start the best will win the game.'

The match falls on St Patrick's Day and while Best acknowledged such an occasion can be motivational, he warned of the perils of becoming too wound up.

'A little bit of emotion in international rugby does no harm as long as it doesn't consume you,' he said.

'Emotion allows you to go to places that your body didn't think you could and you need that to win internationals away from home.

'But we have to make sure we have clear heads so that we can execute our game plan.'

Leinster's Sean O'Brien will start against England despite having spent last week in hospital recovering from a skin infection on his foot.

Munster openside Peter O'Mahony, who impressed on his full debut in Saturday's 32-14 rout of Scotland, drops to the bench to make room for the 25-year-old.