Ireland have 'cracking' Six Nations title chance, says Easterby

Paris (AFP) –


Ireland forwards coach Simon Easterby said on Friday his side have a "cracking opportunity" to win the Six Nations title this weekend when they face France.

Ireland top the standings and can clinch the Championship at the Stade de France if they match England's result in Italy earlier in the day.

"It just presents a cracking opportunity for us tomorrow for us to go out there and express ourselves and win a game of rugby," Easterby told an eve of match press conference.

"Off the back of that, if we need to get certain things out of a game we'll have to do that. What an opportunity," he added.

Ireland scored a convincing victory over the Azzurri last weekend despite trailing after three minutes.

Former Test back-rower Easterby, who played two Tests on the 2005 British and Irish Lions tour, said Ireland's players will have to be patient before looking for a potentially necessary four-try bonus point.

"If you go chasing things then often that can be a distraction," he said.

"We have to focus on what we can control and that means getting ourselves right in the warm-up and starting the game as well as we can.

"It might open up a little bit, we have to focus on winning the game first. After half-time and as the game's going on we'll see," he added.