I really welcome the break from the Six Nations at the weekend because I firmly believe that playing on consecutive weekends is wrong for the competition.
It used to be a problem just for countries like Ireland, Scotland, Italy and Wales but now England are struggling too. Look at their injuries. I really think they should have had the week off, and that includes playing for their clubs.
The Six Nations is the shop window for rugby in the northern hemisphere. The clubs have to live but there's still too many games played in the season.
It would be a good idea to have a winter shutdown like they do in continental soccer and play the Six Nations during that period. They could abolish the play-offs at the end of the Premiership season to free up additional weekends to accommodate it.
Turning to this weekend's game with England, everything is playing into Ireland's hands. Phil Vickery's injury is a massive blow. You don't want to see a player getting hurt and it looks hard for England in the tight. They do not have replacement heads with any experience - that's very difficult for them.
But Ireland cannot afford to be presumptuous and assume it's going to be easy. If they play like they did in the first 10 minutes against Scotland, I'm sure England will make it very difficult for them, but if Ireland's pack play as they did for the rest of that game then it could be the opposite.
England's pride has been wounded by their two defeats and I would expect them to come out fighting, and even if Ireland do win there is still a lot of work to do before the championship is won. Each game is as big as the next, and while I think it's a step on the ladder, Ireland need to look at the bigger picture.
I hope Brian O'Driscoll and Gordon D'Arcy return and play in the manner in which they can play. But we shouldn't rely too heavily on them, giving them the ball to soon and saying ''show us what you can do''. The forwards need to set up the right sort of platform and the backs should be fed at the right time.
England, however, need to have faith in Charlie Hodgson as you can't drop a player every time he has a bad game. I think people have been really unfair on him as he's an excellent kicker and there's too much pressure being placed on him.
Remember, he's still quite inexperienced at this level as a lot of his appearances have been from the bench. He kicked badly against France but he's consistently proved he's a good kicker. Who else is going to take them?
Peter O'Mahony was named man of the match against England last month
21 April 2017, 7:22pm
Peter O'Mahony's performance in the RBS 6 Nations finale for Ireland against England was crucial to his selection for the British & Irish Lions on Wednesday, Ireland and Lions defence coach Andy Farrell has revealed.