Louis Deacon: “I really miss the Six Nations… I don’t miss playing Ireland.”

Former England Rugby duo Louis Deacon and Luke Narraway, now forwards coach and player-coach respectively with National League One side Coventry Rugby, have called upon their previous experiences of playing against Ireland in the Six Nations.

Deacon, 37, admits that he misses the feeling of playing in the Natwest Six Nations and reflected on his unfortunate poor record against Ireland.

He said: “Looking back now, I really miss the Six Nations, just being part of that unique competition and playing against all the home nations.

“Going away and playing at Murrayfield against Scotland in a real hostile environment. I don’t miss playing Ireland, I never managed to beat them in the Six Nations.

“It was a bit up and down if I am honest, because as I say, we won the Six Nations in 2011 and we were going for the Grand Slam but Ireland just managed to play fantastically well on the day.”

Louis Deacon overlooks Coventry Rugby training at Butts Park Arena.

The former Leicester Tigers lock is wary that the passion that the Irish play with could be a decisive factor but still believes England will win.

“The Irish are always passionate when they play against England and I don’t think they wanted anything other than to beat us.

“They certainly enjoyed beating us when we were up for the Grand Slam and they did that last year when England had to go over to Ireland, so this game will probably be quite nice for England with that sort of reversal to potentially stop Ireland winning the Grand Slam.

“Hopefully with the pressure England have been under recently will make them come out and switch those roles almost and come out with a massive, massive performance.

“They will be going for a third grand slam in their history this weekend, hopefully England can stop them.”

Luke Narraway leading the team talk ahead of Coventry’s promotion decider against Caldy on Saturday.

Former Gloucester and London Irish Number 8 Luke Narraway believes that England are not dead and buried for the game and thinks the underdog tag could help them.

“Everyone is saying it’s a dead-rubber, I think it is far from it. England went to Ireland last year for the Grand Slam and I think that will truly be in the forefront of their memories and they will want to do exactly the same to Ireland.

“They have probably come under an unfair amount of criticism, they maybe haven’t played that well.

“Scotland Murrayfield and the Stade de France are tough places to go, just because we have been successful in the last two or three years everyone forgets how hard these places are to go and how hard Grand Slams are to win.

“I think we have been a victim of our own success, but I imagine I wouldn’t be surprised if England turned over Ireland this week and put in a really good performance.

“I think writing England off this week is probably a good thing and they will relish being the underdogs for once.”

The 34-year-old admits that the encounter will be close but maintains his belief that Twickenham is England’s fortress and recalled that Ireland have struggled historically there.

“I think it will be very tight, I think it will be within three points for whoever wins the game and I actually fancy England to win just because of the pressure they have been under the last couple of weeks.

“They are back at home, Twickenham is a very hard place to come and traditionally is a place where Ireland have struggled.”

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