England women's captain Catherine Spencer says her side will be looking to keep the door firmly shut on their opposition when they face Ireland later today.
Spencer has so far led England to RBS 6 Nations victories over Wales and Italy and the reigning champions have not yet conceded a single point, scoring 72 themselves.
You have to go back to November to find the last points England allowed to be scored against them, a stat that Spencer isn’t prepared to ruin.
She said: “Ireland have a strong team and play great attacking rugby so once again we will need to ensure that our defence is watertight.
“We have worked hard on our defence over the last couple of years and this work is really coming to fruition.
“The urgency in defence throughout the squad has been really impressive and we’ll certainly aim to replicate these great defensive performances against Ireland on Sunday.
“Having said that we will want to go into the game with a positive attacking attitude as well, and with our back three of Fiona Pocock, Katherine Merchant and Michaela Staniford we have the potential to attack from anywhere.”
Spencer is however aware of the threat of Ireland and has ensured England will be ready for them at Esher.
She added: “After a week off from Six Nations action we’re very much looking forward to our next game against Ireland.
“We’ve had some close games against them over the last couple of years so we are fully prepared for a tough fixture.
“Up front Ireland have a powerful pack so we will need to ensure that we are switched on in this area from the first whistle as we won’t want them to gain any momentum.
“Sophie Hemming comes back into the starting line up at tight head and we will be looking to our very experienced front row to provide a solid platform.”