Dylan Hartley's take on Ireland match has us a little bit worried 5 years ago

Dylan Hartley's take on Ireland match has us a little bit worried

They mean business.

Before England faced off against Scotland in Twickenham at the weekend, there were a few murmurs from some quarters about just how good this English side are.

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Yes, they are a good team, you don't go unbeaten in 17 Test matches unless this is the case.

But their performances so far in this year's championship prior to their clash with Vern Cotter's side were questionable.

They had not been firing on all cylinders which resulted in grinding out narrow victories against Wales and France before eventually disposing of a stubborn Italian side.

However, any doubts surrounding their ability were firmly put to bed as they put on a masterclass of glorious rugby to sweep aside Scotland 61-21.

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It seems like everything which England have been practicing on the training ground over the past number of weeks came to fruition in those 80 minutes and this is something which England captain, Dylan Hartley alludes to when speaking to BBC 5 Live Sport in the aftermath of that massive win.

"Our preparation has been second to none, we leave no stone unturned. That week off was not a week off!

"It was a hard graft, the coaches pushed us hard but it's all in preparation for this game today. We put the work in and we'll enjoy the success tonight." 

England have already won this year's championship with one game to spare and when the interviewer mentions this, Hartley's reaction could spell trouble for Ireland next weekend.

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"It feels a bit weird when you said we have retained the Six Nations because it doesn't feel like it until we win next weekend...We see it as another step for the team to get better so we will put all of our focus into that game."

Relentless.

Finally, when quizzed on whether the team are thinking about breaking the world record for Test wins, Hartley had this to say:

"No, we're just focusing on the game and the Grand Slam." 

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Focused, direct and unwavering.

Ireland will have one hell of a battle on their hands next weekend.