Andy Farrell thinks Ireland players might be in Warren Gatland’s thinking

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Andy Farrell believes Ireland’s players have given British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland “one or two more headaches” following their morale-boosting mauling of England.

Gatland, who is finalising plans for this summer’s series against South Africa, visited the Irish training camp in midweek and was in Dublin on Saturday to watch the hosts outclass the deposed Guinness Six Nations champions.

Ireland boss Farrell expects some of his squad to be “dead certs” for Lions selection and feels other hopefuls have left New Zealander Gatland with plenty to ponder.

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“Warren came in during the week and watched our training session. It was a great tonic for us,” said Farrell, who enjoyed a 32-18 win over Eddie Jones’ men.

Ireland’s Jack Conan scores their second try during the Guinness Six Nations match against EnglandIreland’s Jack Conan scores their second try during the Guinness Six Nations match against England
Ireland’s Jack Conan scores their second try during the Guinness Six Nations match against England

“There were a lot of good individual performances at the start of the competition and some lads have just carried that on.

“Some lads are dead certs to get on the plane and I’ve absolutely no doubt that there will be one or two more headaches for Warren after that game.”

Ireland produced the best display of the Farrell era to blow away the 2019 World Cup finalists at the Aviva Stadium.

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The resounding success backed up victories over Italy and Scotland and completed the Irish salvage operation after their title hopes were wiped out inside two rounds by narrow defeats to Wales and France.

The identity of Ireland’s next opponents remains uncertain as talks continue over a possible summer tour of the Pacific islands.

Captain Johnny Sexton – who is unlikely to be involved in that potential trip as he targets a Lions place -says Ireland must “strive for consistency” after ending a challenging campaign on a high.

The veteran fly-half produced a faultless kicking display against England to register 22 points and feels his side have laid solid foundations for the future.

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“When things weren’t clicking for a couple of games, it was never one person’s fault, it was a collective thing,” said Sexton, the Six Nations’ leading points scorer with 65.

“We saw some good stuff (on Saturday); still stuff that we can get better at.

“We set a standard in some areas that we need to keep for next November, or summer tour – it’s hard to know what’s next – and then into next year’s Six Nations.

“We’ve got to keep getting better and now we have to strive for consistency.”


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