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Page last updated at 18:24 GMT, Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Ireland centurion John Hayes aims for 2011 World Cup

RBS SIX NATIONS: England v Ireland
Venue: Twickenham Date: Saturday, 27 February 2010 Kick-off: 1600 GMT
Coverage: Watch on BBC One, BBC HD channel, Red Button and online; listen on Radio 5 live and Radio Ulster MW; text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobiles

Ireland coach Declan Kidney refuses to buy into talk of England's decline heading into Saturday's Six Nations clash at Twickenham.

Martin Johnson's side have taken a pummelling in the wake of their dismal 17-12 victory over Italy with critics rounding on their one-dimensional game.

"They got some negative press last year but they still finished second in the championship," said Kidney.

"We only just got the better of them last season - and that was at home."

"Now we're going to Twickenham and they're coming off the back of two wins.

"England teams are always very strong. They know us very well with (England defence coach) Mike Ford having coached the lads before.

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"In attack they're very hard to break down - they don't concede too many tries."

Ireland are reeling from their 33-10 mauling by France, a result that destroyed their Grand Slam defence.

They have used the ensuing two-week break to reflect on a match which saw them brutally swept aside by the buccaneering Six Nations favourites.

"It was good to have the weekend so that we could regroup and take stock. It's handy time in terms of your development," said Kidney.

"England have restructured domestically so they had the down weekend as well.

"Both sides should be that bit fresher so space will probably be at even more of a premium.

"We made the best use of our time and hopefully we'll benefit from it."

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see also
Sexton handed Irish fly-half spot
23 Feb 10 |  Rugby Union
England unchanged for Irish clash
23 Feb 10 |  English
Robinson urges England to be bold
21 Feb 10 |  Rugby Union
Kearney ruled out of England game
18 Feb 10 |  Rugby Union
O'Driscoll dismay at Ireland loss
13 Feb 10 |  Rugby Union
France 33-10 Ireland
13 Feb 10 |  Rugby Union
Six Nations photos
13 Feb 10 |  Rugby Union

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