England at Twickenham pose a bigger challenge than France in Paris, according to the Ireland's Joe Schmidt.
The head coach rates Ireland's Twickenham trip as their toughest test in this year's RBS 6 Nations as they fight for their first Triple Crown since their 2009 grand slam on Saturday week.
Victory over Stuart Lancaster's men would set up a potential grand slam decider against France in Paris on March 15. Regardless of that scenario though, Schmidt believes England offer the tournament's greatest threat. "So far we've learned it's always going to be tough, and we've had a little bit of luck go our way too," said Schmidt. "There are tougher games coming and probably the toughest of all coming next, at Twickenham against England."
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Ireland have spent their fallow week at a training camp in Clonmel, where tactician Schmidt has no doubt got to work in earnest on the England masterplan.
Ireland dismantled Wales' tactical approach in their comprehensive 26-3 victory in Dublin at the weekend. Schmidt is happy to adapt his approach to fit each individual challenge and has made no secret of the fact he will do so again if required at Twickenham.
Many of the squad will be made available for club action this weekend. Eoin Reddan's return for Leinster after injury boosts Ireland's scrum-half options for the England match, with wing Luke Fitzgerald also fit to start. Schmidt remains hopeful Munster's Donnacha Ryan can boost his second-row resources after Dan Tuohy broke his arm against Wales.