What have the English press been making of Ireland's Six Nations issues so far?

We've looked at the Welsh and French press already, so it's the turn of our next opponents

What have the English press been making of Ireland's Six Nations issues so far?

Head coach Joe Schmidt ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

There are questions being asked about Ireland's approach after an opening day draw and Round 2 defeat in this year's Six Nations.

Ahead of the Wales and France games, we checked out of the view of those respective nations' media, so what are the English press making of Joe Schmidt and his team ahead of Saturday's Twickenham test.

In The Telegraph's bumper preview for the game, they have noted the talking point from these shores, saying, "Joe Schmidt's aerial tactics are now being questioned" by critics and that Ireland know that the match presents a "last chance saloon" in an attempt to avoid the "bleakest" of Six Nations title defences.

But despite acknowledging that injuries will affect Ireland, The Telegraph still sees Schmidt's Ireland as a "live threat" to England on Saturday.

But the paper's Daniel Schofield does pull out stats to suggest that England kick more possession than the Irish, despite the fact that head coach Eddie Jones had emphasised that aspect of Ireland's play in pre-match comments.

Meanwhile, The Daily Mail headline a piece with "Ireland have slipped backwards since last visit to Twickenham" in an article by Liam Heagney about changes over the past year.

But while highlighting how Ireland Schmidt and forward's coach Simon Easterby are having to share "additional defence coach duties" since Les Kiss left and Andy Farrell remains on gardening leave from the English RFU, Heagney does add some optimism for Ireland when he says "despite these handicaps, they are not a million miles from getting things right again on the field".

As for The Guardian, Paul Rees subtitles his preview piece with an interesting observation: "Eddie Jones’s attacks on the champions’ kicking game mask his concerns about their organisational strength and a potential lack of turnover opportunities".

But noting how Ireland have become "highly structured" under Schmidt's eagle eye, Rees feel the team "remain formidably hard to break down", despite the mountain of injuries we have to cope with.

So, the general thread from the press across the Irish Sea is question marks over the style but a healthy respect of the organisational capabilities of an injury-ravaged side.