Andy Farrell Joe Schmidt Ireland city Dublin Sporting rowing Rugby Andy Farrell Joe Schmidt Ireland city Dublin

Front-running Ireland justify status by rounding off perfect campaign

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T he rain rolled across Dublin in mid-morning. A timely cooling blanket, perhaps, to regulate the collective temperature on this unique weekend in the Irish capital.

It felt as if you could sink your teeth into the sheer excitement, anticipation and nervous energy of the occasion; Ireland’s opportunity to clinch a grand slam on home soil for the first time.

With St Patrick’s Day falling on Friday, a dominant display by the Irish contingent at the Cheltenham Festival and a grand slam simply waiting to be sealed and delivered, the mood around the city had been, shall we say, buoyant.

As one distinguished Irish writer put it on Saturday morning, the manner in which it was set up for Andy Farrell’s world No 1 team was “unnervingly perfect”.

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