Easter relishes trophy opportunity

Stand-in England captain Nick Easter is adamant his side have to be firing on all cylinders if their are to clinch the Grand Slam with a victory over Ireland tomorrow. [more]

Easter relishes trophy opportunity

Stand-in England captain Nick Easter is adamant his side have to be firing on all cylinders if their are to clinch the Grand Slam with a victory over Ireland tomorrow.

Easter will skipper his country in a Test match for just the second time after Mike Tindall was ruled out of the Aviva Stadium clash with an ankle injury.

But he insists his side must be at their best to overcome an Irish side determined to wreck England's Grand Slam party.

"To win in Dublin, with the occasion and what is at stake, you have to bring your best game," said Easter.

"I don't think anyone wins anything tangible not doing that. When the fixtures came out most people thought this would be the hardest game and I don't think we'll be disappointed.

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"The Irish haven't delivered their best game in the RBS 6 Nations so far and I am sure that will come tomorrow. It should make for a good contest.

"Once Johnno decided to give me the honour of captain there was an enormous sense of pride but the focus is on making sure we deliver our best game tomorrow.

"We realise after last week's not-so-hot performance that it was a good kick up the backside in order to make sure we do produce the goods tomorrow."

England have not won a piece of silverware since 2003 when they won both the Six Nations and World Cup. And Easter is determined put an end to the trophy draught.

"It has been a while. Last year we won the first two and then went off the rails," added Easter.

"It is only the Six Nations tournament and World Cup where you can win silverware. I don't see this as my last opportunity to win a Six Nations, I see it as a first opportunity. We are in this position, we have to enjoy it but certainly we have to bring our top game.

"It is going to be a pretty easy game to captain in terms of the build-up because these guys will need no motivation to get up for the game.

"This is a bigger Test match than most. There are some guys there who I don't think ever get nervous, the younger ones sit in the changing room chomping Haribos and having a laugh.

"You have guys like Ben Youngs and Toby Flood who have played in big finals for Leicester and they have that experience to fall back on. It is an occasion to enjoy.

"We have worked hard to get here. We are 4-0 now and let's hope we can make it five."

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