Ireland won the third Six Nations title of Joe Schmidt's reign on Saturday. They will now travel to Twickenham next weekend seeking the first Grand Slam of his time as head coach.
In his match report from England's defeat to France on Saturday evening - the result which confirmed Ireland as this year's champions - Stephen Jones of The Sunday Times said Ireland "have looked to date a class above all the other teams".
In a column for the paper suggesting that Eddie Jones needs to rethink England's approach, he also said that "Ireland will be seeking the Grand Slam that on all known form this season they deserve and they will win."
He also lamented England's lack of a player of Tadhg Furlong's calibre.
Yesterday, where was the forward to really take it to France as Sebastien Vahaamahina and company took it to England? Where was the English equivalent of Tadhg Furlong, the Irishman who scrums like a tractor but who rampages around the field.
Also in The Sunday Times - where he called England's performance in Paris "chariots of dire" - Lawrence Dallaglio had plenty of praise for Ireland.
If England don’t sort themselves out this week they will be on the end of a hiding from Ireland on Saturday. That is clear. Ireland have been head and shoulders above the other five nations in this campaign. Their clarity of thought and accuracy in deed is in stark contrast to what we saw from England in Paris.
Writing for The Telegraph, Ian McGeechan said this is an Irish team which has evolved.
Ireland have moved on tactically in the last 18 months. They can attack teams in a number of ways. They have continuity and experience in key areas – at half-back, at full-back, and a pack that has balanced combinations throughout. Impressively, a number of those players are very young, and it’s that mix of young and old which is so potent. The back row, in particular, has made their breakdown work so impressive. But it’s all over the pitch. When your third-choice 13 is Garry Ringrose, you know you are in pretty good nick. Ringrose was my man of the match.
That was a sentiment echoed by Tom Cary in the same paper.
This Ireland are developing into a serious force.
Schmidt is perennially touchy about the perception of his team as functional and lacking in flair; all power and no magic. And he is right to be. Ireland can win any number of ways. They are disciplined, solid at the set piece, brilliant at the breakdown, have arguably the best halfback pairing in the world, and carry plenty of threat out wide.
Andy Bull of The Guardian said that Ireland have been the best team in best team in Europe for the past year.
A year on from England’s 13-9 defeat by Ireland in Dublin, their first loss under Jones, that game seems to have been a clear watershed in the fortunes of both teams. It was the point when Ireland passed England to become the best team in Europe. Ireland are unbeaten in 11 Tests since and are now Six Nations champions. England are still faltering, looking for the sure footing they had before they tripped in that match. According to the world rankings, England are still second behind the All Blacks; the truth is Ireland overtook them last March.