Rugby World Cup 2019: England look ‘fully loaded’ for Japan, says Ian McGeechan

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England score eight tries in crushing win over Ireland.

OPINION:These two teams looked worlds apart. I’ve rarely seen England look better, and they have clearly learnt the lessons of their games against Wales to get to a stage where they look fully-loaded and ready for the World Cup.

Ireland, on the other hand, looked off the pace, heavy-legged and undercooked. They appear to be two games and two weeks behind England, and the sheer scale of this defeat will have been an unwelcome wake-up call for Joe Schmidt, especially as they need to hit the ground running in Japan for their opening game against Scotland. It has been many years since I have seen Ireland so ineffective, and their games against Wales will now take on huge and unexpected significance.

But this game was not about how poor Ireland were, it was all about how spectacularly good England were. Their accuracy, balance and variety were all outstanding, and in this form any team in the world could have taken a tanking off them at Twickenham, although the 57-15 thrashing will have comfortably exceeded Schmidt’s worst nightmares.

Eddie Jones has at last played what looks like his first choice team. There could be small tweaks, with Henry Slade coming in at 13 and Owen Farrell moving to 10, Mako Vunipola starting, and Willi Heinz possibly at scrum-half instead of Ben Youngs. But in virtually all the areas that really matter, Eddie has absolutely nailed it.

Joe Cokanasiga scored two tries against Ireland in a backline performance Sir Ian McGeechan rated as one of England's best.

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Joe Cokanasiga scored two tries against Ireland in a backline performance Sir Ian McGeechan rated as one of England’s best.

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England try-scorer Manu Tuilagi's power game proved unstoppable.

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