Ireland winger Mack Hansen followed up ahead of Saturday’s Six Nations showdown by claiming that “everybody hates England”.
Steve Borthwick’s side are set to travel to Dublin on Saturday in hopes of stopping world No. 1 Ireland from winning a first Grand Slam since 2018.
However, Hansen has stated that Ireland have a motivation to finish the tournament unbeaten.
“I think everyone hates England in general! I was aware of that [before coming to Ireland] Definitely,” said Australian-born Hansen, who qualified for Andy Farrell’s side through his Cork-born mother.
“There’s quite a bit of hate, isn’t there? But it’s good because when the game is over they’re good guys like everyone else. This happened…how long ago was it? But it adds a bit of fire to the game. I was unlucky not to play last year so fingers crossed that I can play next Saturday.
Hansen, who was one of the stars of the tournament for Ireland, believes the game will become more difficult for his side after England suffered a record defeat by France at Twickenham last weekend.
“The worst thing that could have happened to us was England pumped up at home,” said the 24-year-old. “You just know they’re going to turn around. They’re a great side. It didn’t go that way against France but they still have unreal players.”
“We know they will recover, we know they will bring a lot of energy. It will be a completely different team than last weekend. But we want to play against the best and if they do their best then it will be great, a good game.”
Meanwhile, Marcus Smith has declared that there is “no better week than a free hit against Ireland” as the English camp seek to stabilize after last weekend’s sobering defeat.
Acknowledging that England would be a strong underdog, Smith tried to make sense of his side’s disastrous game against France. Smith stressed that the squad must remain closed.
“We just said stick together because there’s going to be a lot of noise and a lot of pressure on us and we need to get tighter rather than split. Because this is a big test for our cohesion as a squad. our determination. There’s no better week than a free hit against Ireland.”
Smith added that England have plenty of time to turn things around, despite the number of areas England need to address.
“I think so. That’s the beauty of being at camp. We’re going to come in, come with a plan and work as hard as we can to improve. I think by chaining more minutes and avoiding breakaways in our game , we can test it. I think we showed that in part today, we just didn’t marry it enough and we need to look at that.”
“We need to learn faster, we need to improve faster and that’s the challenge Steve gave us – to look at our individual performances and all get better individually to try to complement the team. Time is against us, but I think we “I still have time. With the characters we have in the group, we can turn things around very quickly.”