It’s a ways away yet but there will be plenty of eyes on Ireland’s trip to Twickenham in the Six Nations on the 12th of March.
A result in Paris this weekend is paramount for Andy Farrell’s side to set the tone for the rest of the tournament. France are the favoured side going into this year’s competition.
A fairly routine win over Italy hasn’t given much away of Les Blues' capabilities. If Ireland can get the better of them on Saturday, there’s no reason why they can’t be supremely confident heading into English territory.
One of those of that belief is former England international Matt Dawson, who played a part in their 2003 World Cup-winning side. Dawson was fairly damning of his country’s performance against Scotland.
"England were completely outplayed," he said in a BBC column. "Scotland were world-class with their rugby intelligence and thoroughly deserved to win the game."
The former scrum-half wasn’t too pleased that fly-half Marcus Smith was taken off with twenty minutes to go into the game. Dawson also believed England could have played more through their hands instead of relying on their kicking game.
Six Nations Predictions
But when his home side welcome the Irish to London later in the schedule, Dawson doesn’t think it’ll fair well for The Three Lions. "They will probably struggle against Ireland and France," Dawson said.
"But there is plenty of time for England to bounce back. I am not thinking there is going to be a Grand Slam this year so every team is going to lose a game and therefore England are in with a chance."
The Question of Sport captain believes the tournament could be decided as late as the final week. It's not out of the ordinary for a Six Nations to go down to the wire, and Dawson thinks the Scotland and Ireland game could be the decider.
"Ireland were ruthless in their 29-7 victory against Wales. They are back to the precision they had four or five years ago, with a bit more intent and imagination."
After what he’s seen from Scotland, he’s not going to go against them, yet. Dawson thinks they could snatch it from Ireland when it’s all said and done in the Six Nations.
"Depending on a few decisions and the bounce of the ball Scotland could nick it when they go to Dublin in the final round of matches."