Andy Farrell hopes to coax his grandchildren into supporting Ireland when he goes face to face towards son Owen Farrell in Saturday’s crunch Grand Slam decider with England.
Farrell junior has been restored to the guests’ beginning XV for the Dublin conflict after being dropped to the bench forward of final weekend’s 53-10 humiliation by the hands of France.
The father and son are well-versed in being in rival camps however their relationship provides an intriguing sub-plot to the St Patrick’s weekend showdown because the hosts search to clinch a Guinness Six Nations clear sweep.
Ireland head coach Andy admits some topics have been off limits throughout latest conversations with England’s skipper as he joked about changing Owen’s younger sons Tommy and Freddie into Irish followers.
“We don’t ask questions that put the other person in too much of a predicament,” he stated of chats with Owen.
“I know that he (Owen) is travelling over today, he’s not staying too far from our house actually.
“The grandkids are coming over today as well, so we’ll be trying to poach them into our captain’s run tomorrow and see if we can squeeze them to cheer for Ireland. We’ll see how that goes.”
Owen Farrell has been chosen at fly-half by Steve Borthwick on the again of final weekend’s record-breaking embarrassment towards Les Bleus.
The 31-year-old Saracens participant stated in January that elder son Tommy had been warned about sporting a inexperienced jersey.
“I asked him why he has got one,” he instructed the Telegraph. “He said, ‘it’s grandad’s team’, and I said ‘well, you can wear a suit like grandad does, then, not the kit’.”
Speaking about Tommy’s Ireland shirt, Andy added: “I’ve told him to bring it, yeah, so we’ll see what he wears on Saturday.”
Ireland are bidding to clinch a primary Grand Slam in Dublin and a fourth total, having achieved so in Belfast in 1948, Cardiff in 2009 and London in 2018.
Boss Farrell says it could be “stupid” to deal with the event like another recreation however has urged his aspect to deal with producing a powerful efficiency fairly than securing silverware at a sold-out Aviva Stadium as they bid to encourage the Irish inhabitants.
“People think we’re chasing a trophy; we’re not, we’re chasing being the best version of ourselves when it matters most,” he stated.
“We all know it matters, but performing under that type of pressure is the next step for us.
“It’s not any other game. We’d be stupid to think that, it’s another challenge for us, being at our best. The trophy’s not a factor, it’s us performing that matters the most.”
Farrell has made three adjustments for the sport on the again of a bruising 22-7 round-four win in Scotland.
Lock Ryan Baird and centre Robbie Henshaw change injured pair Iain Henderson and Garry Ringrose, whereas scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park may also make his first begin of the competitors after being most popular to Conor Murray.
Hooker Dan Sheehan and quantity eight Caelan Doris have shrugged off the problems they sustained at Murrayfield to retain their locations.
Farrell expects an England response to final weekend’s record-breaking Twickenham horror present, which wiped Borthwick’s males out of title competition.
“Well, it’s what they have been saying, you know Ellis Genge coming out and saying they’re going to fight,” he stated.
“Of course 100 per cent they will and they’re going to be formidable opponents for us at the weekend, they are.
“I know the quality of player that they’ve got, and watching them also in the Six Nations and in patches we’ve seen in their attacking game when it has been flowing, they’re as dangerous as anyone in the competition.
“They’ll have the emotional edge, obviously. There’s no better tonic, is there, than getting back out there and playing again and putting a few things right.
“So you’d expect them to be way better than their best so far because I know that’s what is in them, I know the fight that’s in the players and the coaching staff.”