Search icon


09th Mar 2024

Jamie Heaslip forced to own his pre-match comments on England

Patrick McCarry

Jamie Heaslip

“That’s a daily thing – people slating me.”

Jamie Heaslip put his hand up [the other was holding an RTÉ microphone] at Twickenham but was not exactly glowing about the victors.

England defeated Ireland 23-22 after a late Marcus Smith drop goal. It denied Ireland a chance to clinch the title, one game early, and keeps them in the championship hunt. Ireland are still favourites to win – taking on Scotland in Dublin, next Saturday – but the Triple Crown and Grand Slam are goners.

Ahead of the game, Heaslip had teed up the match with the sort of brash comments he very often backed up, in his playing days. He boldly told the BBC’s Rugby union Daily podcast:

“I haven’t seen what the bookies are saying. But in order for England to win, Ireland have to go down to like 14 or 13 players and I think England need a couple of trick plays up their sleeve.”

Now, you would have been hard-pressed to find any pundit out there that was calling England to win it. the likes of Lawrence Dallaglio, Ben Kay, Andy Goode and Jonny Wilkinson were just a small sampling of the English pundits predicting an Irish win.

At Twickenham today, though, the form book was ripped up. Steve Borthwick’s men tore into Ireland, scored early, rebounded well after falling behind, late in the game, and deserved their win. Following the game, Jacqui Hurley asked Jamie Heaslip if he was prepared to take some flak for his inaccurate prediction.

“That’s a daily thing – people slating me,” he began.

“They’ve great players… if you’re relying on emotional energy to get you up, each time, that’s not sustainable. You have to strive for consistency.

“But it’s a great day for them. You have to earn that consistency. Great night for England. They’ll enjoy it, and they deserve it.”

Heaslip’s fellow pundits, Bernard Jackman and Stephen Ferris both agreed that England were good value for their victory. Jackman did argue, though, “Even the best sides in the world lose matches sometimes.”


*Join SportsJOE’s WhatsApp community for first access to news, sports updates, and quizzes. Click on this link to receive news and the latest sports headlines directly to your phone.  You can leave the group at any time.

Related articles:

WATCH: Liverpool BOTTLED the title race 🤬 | Who will win the Premier League?