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Stander: Ireland ready for England battle

Stander: Ireland ready for England battle

Stander: Ireland ready for England battle

CJ Stander has insisted that Ireland are no ‘softies’ and will be up for the fight against England at Twickenham on Saturday.

The response comes after a recent documentary revealed that South Africa head coach Rassie Erasmus described Andy Farrell’s side as ‘softies’ in the build-up to their Rugby World Cup semi-final clash with Wales last year.

And, with a physical encounter expected against Eddie Jones’ men this weekend, the 30-year-old Munster No.8 has declared he and his teammates are ready to show Erasmus what they can do in the heat of battle.

“It is a bit of a challenge because that is his view and that is his belief,” Stander said.

“I would like to, not really prove him wrong, but I’d like to show him what we can do and what we have done before.

“That is a big statement to make. He put it out there so, you know, that’s his prerogative. That’s what he thought of us.

“It is not going to be easy to change his view but, luckily, we are not playing against them this week. We will get them at some stage.”

Ireland comfortably beat Wales in their Autumn Nations Cup opener, but now face a tough test against Guinness Six Nations champions England.

And it was in that very competition earlier this year when the two sides endured a bruising contest which the Red Rose got the better of.

But, with that experience fresh in the mind and off the back of a strong week of preparation, Stander believes his side are prepared for the confrontation ahead and can come out on the right side of it this time.

Stander added: “I will tell you this: you can only be physical if you know what you are doing.

“We have had a good week. We prepared well. We know what we are going to do.

“If we can get our set-piece going and make sure we get off the line, that will get us into the game. We can work from there.

“We have played against them a few times. The arm wrestle will come. It is just about who adapts to it better at certain times on the pitch.”

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