Jonny May scored a sublime solo try as England beat Ireland 18-7 at Twickenham to extend their winning run to six matches and take charge of Autumn Nations Cup A.

The clinical May finished superbly to open the scoring and had a first-half double when he sprinted from deep inside his own half to score a sensational try four minutes later 

Wing May moved level with Ben Cohen and Will Greenwood on 31 tries for England, a tally only Rory Underwood has bettered, as the Six Nations champions secured a fourth win in a row against Ireland.

Jacob Stockdale got Ireland on the board with a late try but they were frustrated by a defensive masterclass from Eddie Jones' side.

Owen Farrell scored eight points from the tee and laid on May's first try as England put themselves on course to win the group ahead of a clash with Wales next weekend.

May rose to brilliantly take a high cross-field kick from Farrell before spinning and planting the ball down to put England in front 16 minutes after the forwards applied huge pressure on Ireland.

Lethal flyer May then punished Ireland for a poor lineout by showing searing pace and great footwork to score a magnificent try that he created for himself from inside him own 22, with Farrell adding the extras.

Ireland continued to struggle at the set-piece and although they prevented the Red Rose from increasing their lead before the break, but two Farrell penalties stretched the advantage to 18 points.

England defended for their lives and looked set to nil Andy Farrell's side until Stockdale surged through to take his own clever kick over the top and score a try, which Billy Burns converted, seven minutes from time but it was too little, too late.

George Ford will start on the bench for England against Ireland in the Autumn Nations Cup on Saturday.

The fly-half returns to the squad after overcoming an Achilles problem, although captain Owen Farrell will keep the number 10 shirt against Andy Farrell's men.

Tom Curry and Sam Underhill come into the side as flankers, with props Mako Vunipola and Kyle Sinckler also returning to the XV.

The backline is unchanged from the opening 40-0 victory over Georgia, allowing Ollie Lawrence to make his second international start at outside centre.

"I've picked the strongest team possible for the most important game of our season," said head coach Eddie Jones.

"We have the highest respect for the Ireland and their coach Andy Farrell. They've had good preparation with two wins and a dominant display against Wales, and we will need to be at our best on Saturday.

"We've trained well this week, we're expecting a tough, physical game against Ireland and we've reflected that in our sessions. 

"We'll look to lift our performance even higher and are looking forward to a really good game of rugby."

England: Elliot Daly, Jonathan Joseph, Ollie Lawrence, Henry Slade, Jonny May, Owen Farrell (captain), Ben Youngs; Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, Joe Launchbury, Tom Curry, Sam Underhill, Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: Tom Dunn, Ellis Genge, Will Stuart, Jonny Hill, Ben Earl, Don Robson, George Ford, Max Malins.

Ross Byrne will start at fly-half in one of four changes to the Ireland team for Saturday's Autumn Nations Cup showdown with England at Twickenham.

Byrne replaces captain Johnny Sexton, who sustained a hamstring injury in the first match of the tournament against Wales last Friday.

Second row James Ryan takes over as skipper for the first time, while CJ Stander returns at blindside flanker and Peter O'Mahony will don the number seven shirt, with Caelan Doris selected at number eight.

Centre Bundee Aki replaces the injured Robbie Henshaw following the 32-9 win over Wayne Pivac's struggling Wales side, partnering Chris Farrell.

Jamison Gibson-Park retains his starting role at scrum-half, so Conor Murray will be on the bench once again for the clash with the Six Nations champions, who thrashed Georgia 40-0 last weekend.

Hugo Keenan gets the nod at full-back, with James Lowe and Keith Earls keeping their places on the wings.

 

Ireland: Hugo Keenan, Keith Earls, Chris Farrell, Bundee Aki, James Lowe, Ross Byrne, Jamison Gibson-Park; Cian Healy, Ronan Kelleher, Andrew Porter, Quinn Roux, James Ryan (captain), CJ Stander, Peter O’Mahony, Caelan Doris.

Replacements: Rob Herring, Ed Byrne, Finlay Bealham, Iain Henderson, Will Connors, Conor Murray, Billy Burns, Jacob Stockdale.

Jack Willis has been omitted from England's squad to face Ireland in the Autumn Nations Cup on Saturday despite making an impressive debut.

Premiership player of the year Willis scored a try in the 40-0 thrashing of Georgia last weekend, but the flanker does not feature among the 25 named by Eddie Jones for the upcoming showdown at Twickenham.

Sam Underhill returns for the encounter with Andy Farrell's side, so Willis will have to wait for another opportunity.

The versatile Jonathan Joseph was selected despite limping out of the victory last weekend, while Lewis Ludlam, Jonny Hill and Ollie Thorley have also got the nod.

Fly-half George Ford is included despite an Achilles problem, but Joe Marchant and Joe Marler miss out due to injury and Charlie Ewels was not included.

James Ryan has been named as Ireland captain for the first time in the absence of Johnny Sexton, who suffered a hamstring injury in the win over struggling Wales last week.

 

England squad:

Forwards: Tom Curry, Tom Dunn, Ben Earl, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Jonny Hill, Maro Itoje, Joe Launchbury, Lewis Ludlam, Kyle Sinckler, Will Stuart, Sam Underhill, Billy Vunipola, Mako Vunipola.

Backs: Elliot Daly, Owen Farrell (captain), George Ford, Jonathan Joseph, Ollie Lawrence, Max Malins, Jonny May, Dan Robson, Henry Slade, Ollie Thorley, Ben Youngs.

Wales suffered a sixth straight Test defeat as Ireland ran out 32-9 winners in the opening Autumn Nations Cup clash in Dublin on Friday, piling more pressure on Wayne Pivac. 

Ireland captain Johnny Sexton was forced off with a hamstring problem during the first half as the new tournament got under way, yet the hosts still had little trouble in claiming a comfortable victory. 

Sexton kicked two penalties and converted Quinn Roux's try before going off, with Billy Burns' boot then giving Ireland a 16-6 lead at the break. 

Leigh Halfpenny hit his third penalty of the match to lift Wales to nine points soon after the break, but further penalties from Burns and Conor Murray put Ireland well in control before debutant James Lowe wrapped up the win. 

It leaves Wales coach Pivac under increasing scrutiny, with the 2019 World Cup semi-finalists having failed to come close to the performances achieved under Warren Gatland. 

Wales have the chance to respond when they host Georgia next week, while Ireland take on Six Nations champions England at Twickenham.

James Lowe is set to make his Ireland debut in the Autumn Nations Cup after being included in Andy Farrell's 34-man squad.

New Zealand-born Lowe is eligible for Ireland having played for Leinster since 2017 and is one of three uncapped players in the group.

The 28-year-old versatile back has scored more Pro14 tries than any other player since his Leinster debut three years ago. He also ranks in the top three for clean breaks (52) and offloads (53).

Munster centre Shane Daly was brought in due to Garry Ringrose's broken jaw sustained against Italy in the Six Nations, while former England youth international Billy Burns replaced Jack Carty.

Keith Earles has returned from a back problem and Iain Henderson is included after serving a suspension, though Jack Conan has gone back to Leinster to recover from injury.

Ireland will face Wales at home next Friday before matches against England and Georgia. Their final game of the inaugural Autumn Nations Cup will be on December 5 against either Fiji, France, Italy or Scotland.

Farrell's team will be hoping to bounce back from a disappointing loss to France last weekend that handed England the Six Nations title.

 

Ireland squad:

Forwards: Finlay Bealham, Tadhg Beirne, Ed Byrne, Will Connors, Ultan Dillane, Caelan Doris, Cian Healy, Dave Heffernan, Iain Henderson, Rob Herring, Ronan Kelleher, Peter O'Mahony, Andrew Porter, Quinn Roux, John Ryan, James Ryan, CJ Stander, Josh van der Flier.

Backs: Bundee Aki, Billy Burns, Ross Byrne, Andrew Conway, Shane Daly, Keith Earls, Chris Farrell, Jamison Gibson-Park, Robbie Henshaw, Hugo Keenan, James Lowe, Kieran Marmion, Stuart McCloskey, Conor Murray, Johnny Sexton, Jacob Stockdale.

Owen Farrell feels England are "just getting started" after they were crowned Six Nations champions on Saturday.

Ben Youngs marked his 100th cap with a double as the Red Rose secured a 34-5 bonus-point victory over Italy in Rome to give themselves a great chance of winning the title.

Ireland would have been guaranteed the trophy if they had beaten France by a margin of at least seven points in the final match of the tournament, but Les Bleus gave another demonstration of their huge potential in a 35-27 victory in Paris.

England finished level on points with France, but Eddie Jones' side won the competition for the first time in three years on points difference.

Farrell says there is more to come from England after they were able to celebrate almost a year to the day since they were beaten by South Africa in the Rugby World Cup final.

Asked if England have more to give, captain Farrell said on BBC One: "Massively, it feels like we're just getting started. There were four new caps today, someone who got their 100th cap in Ben Youngs and Jamie George who got his 50th.

"It feels like we've got a brilliant blend of experience and youth to drive us forward and being involved in training in the last few weeks has shown that to us and we're looking forward to what's in front of us as well."

Farrell paid tribute to wily head coach Jones after he masterminded the third Six Nations triumph of his reign.

He said of Jones: "He's been brilliant. the best thing I can say is we all love being here and being in camp and we all love working hard to improve and hopefully you see that when we get out on the field."

The England skipper also hailed Youngs on a special day for the scrum-half.

"I'm chuffed for him. It's a huge achievement reaching 100 caps, only the second person to do it for England, it's massive," said Farrell.

"To have such a good game, like he did, and to top it off with the trophy is brilliant."

Johnny Sexton conceded Ireland's display was not up to scratch after they went down 35-27 to France in Paris in their final Six Nations match.

Andy Farrell's side went into Saturday's clash at the Stade de France knowing a victory by at least seven points would secure their fifth Six Nations title.

However, Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamack ran the show for France as they ended Ireland's hopes and England – who had seen off Italy in Rome – were crowned champions.

Sexton kicked 10 points, with Cian Healy, on his 100th cap, Robbie Henshaw and Jacob Stockdale getting Ireland's tries.

However, the 35-year-old insisted Ireland's display was not at the required level.

"I felt that they took their opportunities really well, sometimes off nothing, off our mistakes," Sexton said.

"We weren't there, we weren't good enough. We had good chances to score, a few chances five metres out.

"We went for a try [at the end of first half], a brave decision to go and get another try before half-time. We were very close but we weren't quite good enough. It's going to be tough to look at over the next week or so.

"We saw the other results, we knew we needed to win by more than six, or with a bonus point. We tried to make some brave calls, get some tries, because we knew there was some space there to be exploited but we weren't good enough to take it."

Ireland are next in action in the inaugural Autumn Nations Cup, starting their campaign against Wales on November 13.

"We're looking forward to a new competition, today's going to hurt," Sexton continued.

"We've got some important players to come back for us and some new players as well, so we're looking forward to getting them back and trying to bounce back from this disappointment."

Despite brilliant displays from half-backs Dupont and Ntamack, the Player of the Match award went to France number eight Gregory Alldritt, who attempted 24 tackles – all of which were successful.

"It was a tough game, they were coming to win the Six Nations. We focused only on winning this game, it was tough to win. We won, we're happy," said Aldritt, who had special praise for his opposite number CJ Stander.

"CJ Stander is a fantastic player. I was looking at him on TV four years ago with stars in my eyes. Great to play against him, what an incredible player."

 

England were crowned Six Nations champions as Ireland slipped to a 35-27 defeat to France at the Stade de France.

With Eddie Jones' side having beaten Italy 34-5 in Rome earlier on Saturday, Ireland went into the finale knowing they needed to at least win by seven points – or take a bonus-point victory – to claim their fifth Six Nations title.

After a combative first-half display Andy Farrell's side could not match their hosts following the interval, with a try and three penalties from the brilliant Romain Ntamack putting France in control by the 51st minute.

Ntamack's fellow half-back Antoine Dupont also put in a stellar display, opening the scoring six minutes in before turning provider for Ntamack's try.

Cian Healy had hit back for Ireland, though a penalty try conceded by Caelan Doris gave France a lead they did not relinquish, and by failing to win by 31 points they handed England the title.

France struck first as Gael Fickou raced clear down the wing before finding Dupont, who easily got the better of Jacob Stockdale to slide in close to the sticks – Ntamack adding the extras.

A frantic opening 10 minutes concluded with a lengthy TMO check, which resulted in Anthony Bouthier receiving a yellow card for deliberately knocking the ball out of play.

Ireland made their numerical advantage count with a minute of Bouthier's time in the bin remaining, Healy forcing his way over to mark his 100th cap in style.

Sexton converted and then added a penalty to put Ireland ahead, but momentum swung France's way when Doris dragged back Francois Cros close to the line.

Another Sexton three-pointer dragged Ireland to within a point before Ntamack's penalty gave Les Bleus a 17-13 half-time lead.

Ntamack added five points to his tally three minutes after the restart, touching down after Dupont had superbly kept a France attack alive.

France's fly-half missed the conversion but made no mistake with two penalties in the space of four minutes to nose Les Bleus 15 points clear.

Robbie Henshaw raced down Ireland's left to lunge over in the corner with 21 minutes remaining and provide hope for a comeback.

But Ntamack wriggled through a gap and set up Virimi Vakatawa to seal France's second-place finish, with Stockdale snatching a late consolation for the visitors.

England have won the Six Nations following France's 35-27 victory over Ireland in the final game of the tournament in Paris on Saturday.

The battle for the Six Nations title is finally set to come to a thrilling climax on Saturday.

Ireland have their fate in their own hands after they hammered Italy last weekend in the only round four match that could not take place before the tournament was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic in March.

If Andy Farrell's side secure a bonus-point win over France in the final match of the competition in Paris they will get their hands on the trophy, but Les Bleus are also in contention.

England are the favourites to be crowned champions, as they trail leaders Ireland by only a point and will be expected to seal a bonus-point victory over Italy in Rome.

Scotland and Wales, who sit fourth and fifth respectively, end their campaigns with a clash at Parc y Scarlets.

Ahead of what promises to be a tense finale to the tournament, we use Opta data to preview the three matches.

 

Wales v Scotland

- Wales have won 14 of their last 16 Six Nations games against Scotland (L2), including their last eight in a row on home soil, with Scotland's only victory in Wales in the championship coming in 2002.

- Scotland come into the match having won back-to-back games in the Six Nations. They have not won three in a row in the Five/Six Nations since 1996 - when they beat Ireland, France and Wales in succession.

- Wales have lost their last three Six Nations games, their worst run in the championship since a five-game losing streak spanning the 2006 and 2007 editions.

- Scotland's Stuart Hogg has carried the ball for 377 metres in this Six Nations, more than any other player. No player has made more metres over the gain line than Hogg - with Jacob Stockdale also making 305m.

Italy v England

- England have won all of their 26 matches against Italy, 20 of those coming in the Six Nations. The Red Rose are the only side the Italians have failed to beat since joining the championship in 2000.

- Italy have lost 26 consecutive games in the Six Nations since beating Scotland in 2015, the longest losing run by any side in history of the tournament. Only twice during that run have they been beaten by a single-figure margin (v France 2016, v Scotland 2018).

- England have scored four or more tries in each of their last six Six Nations matches against Italy, with an average winning margin of 33 points across those six victories.

- After defeat to Ireland last weekend, Italy are assured of a 15th wooden spoon and a fifth in a row.

France v Ireland

- France have won just one of their last eight games against Ireland in the Six Nations (D2, L5). They had won seven of their previous eight clashes in the championship before that run (L1).

- The last four Six Nations meetings between France and Ireland in Paris have seen the sides separated by fewer than three points (France W1, Ireland W2, D1).

- France have won their last three home games in the Six Nations, their best run since 2013-14 (W3). The last time they enjoyed a longer winning streak on home soil in the competition was a nine-game run stretching from 2008 to 2012.

- Les Bleus are yet to lose a scrum in the 2020 Six Nations, winning all 14 on their own feed, the only side with a 100 per cent success rate at that set-piece.

Gael Fickou will move from centre to the wing in place of the injured Teddy Thomas for France's decisive Six Nations clash with Ireland in Paris on Saturday.

Racing 92 winger Thomas scored the last of France's five tries in last weekend's 38-21 victory over Wales but has been ruled out of the Ireland game at Stade de France with a hamstring injury.

Fickou shifts out wide in the absence of the clinical Thomas, with Arthur Vincent coming in at centre in the only change from the win over Wales.

Explaining his decision, France head coach Fabien Galthie said: "We know that Jonny Sexton uses his foot to put pressure on our wing. Fickou has this experience to deal with it.

"We had to manage the same thing against Wales. Arthur Retiere is also ready and is on the bench."

France are seeking their first tournament triumph in a decade as they gear up to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Les Bleus start their final game in Paris a point behind leaders Ireland and level with England, who face Italy in Rome.

"It's quite simple - we have as much chance of winning as England and Ireland," Galthie said. "But above all we try to be consistent. 

"We want consistency. We should not be weighed down with assumptions of what could happen."

Bernard le Roux again partners Paul Willemse at lock after his citing for an allegedly striking Alun Wyn Jones was dismissed by an independent panel.

The game has been given the all clear to go ahead despite French president Emmanuel Macron tightening the country's coronavirus restrictions this week.

Ireland announced their squad on Wednesday, with Robbie Henshaw replacing injured Leinster team-mate Garry Ringrose in their only change.

France: Anthony Bouthier, Vincent Rattez, Virimi Vakatawa, Arthur Vincent, Gael Fickou, Romain Ntamack, Antoine Dupont; Cyril Baille, Julien Marchand, Mohamed Haouas, Bernard Le Roux, Paul Willemse, Francois Cros, Charles Ollivon (captain), Gregory Alldritt.

Replacements: Camille Chat, Jean Baptiste Gros, Demba Bamba, Romain Taofifenua, Dylan Cretin, Baptiste Serin, Arthur Retiere, Thomas Ramos.

Robbie Henshaw has replaced Garry Ringrose as Ireland's only change for Saturday's decisive Six Nations clash with France in Paris.

Leinster centre Ringrose broke his jaw early in last weekend's 50-17 hammering of Italy after being caught by Edoardo Padovani's knee and will miss the next six weeks.

Fellow Leinster player Henshaw came on for Ringrose at the Aviva Stadium and will now start the crucial clash with France at the Stade de France.

Ireland head into their final match of the elongated tournament knowing that a bonus-point victory will secure a fourth title in seven years.

As a result of Henshaw dropping out of the squad, Chris Farrell has been drafted into the Ireland replacements.

Prop Cian Healy is set to win his 100th cap and Johnny Sexton will once again captain Ireland, who are a point ahead of England – whose final game is against Italy in Rome – and opponents France.

 

Ireland: Jacob Stockdale, Andrew Conway, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, Hugo Keenan, Johnny Sexton (c), Conor Murray; Cian Healy, Rob Herring, Andrew Porter, Tadhg Beirne, James Ryan, Caelan Doris, Will Connors, CJ Stander.

Replacements: Dave Heffernan, Ed Byrne, Finlay Bealham, Ultan Dillane, Peter O'Mahony, Jamison Gibson-Park, Ross Byrne, Chris Farrell.

John Cooney has been called up to the Ireland squad for the decisive Six Nations clash with France on Saturday as cover for Jamison Gibson-Park.

Gibson-Park reported he is suffering from hamstring tightness after the 50-17 demolition of Italy at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

Cooney was left out for that match in Dublin after being on the bench for the defeat to England in February before the tournament was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Ulster scrum-half has been drafted in by Andy Farrell ahead of a showdown with Les Bleus in Paris which Ireland start knowing a bonus-point win would secure the title.

Wing Keith Earls is finishing his rehabilitation programme from a back injury and a decision over whether he can face France will be made in the coming days.

Centre Garry Ringrose is out for up to six weeks after suffering a broken jaw in the hammering of the Azzurri.

England trail Ireland by a point but are favourites to be crowned champions as they face Italy in Rome.

Ireland will be without Garry Ringrose for their decisive Six Nations showdown with France after the centre was ruled out for up to six weeks with a broken jaw. 

Ringrose was caught in the face by Edoardo Padovani's knee early in the 50-17 hammering of Italy when the Six Nations resumed at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday. 

The Leinster player, who was replaced by Robbie Henshaw, will miss the trip to Paris for a final match of the tournament that Ireland will start needing another bonus-point win to secure the title. 

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell said: "Garry Ringrose has broken his jaw, so bad news for us all. 

"He's been so good for us the last 10 days, he has been absolutely fantastic with his leadership and he was a big part of the reason why we got what we wanted [versus Italy]. 

"He was unfortunate with his thumb injury earlier in the Six Nations and has come back and had a setback like that which will keep him out for four to six weeks, so we're gutted for Garry."

Ringrose also looks set to sit out the Autumn Nations Cup encounters with Wales, England and Georgia in November. 

Ireland are a point ahead of France and England - who play Italy in Rome - ahead of the final round of Six Nations matches.

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