The space always existed, but head coach Jones’ has the imagination and the players with the skills to exploit it. This will be tough, or near impossible for the home side to stop if England can get into full flow early in the game.
2. Major stars have returned
A specially-designed rehab programme has helped Billy Vunipola return to England’s starting line-up not only ahead of schedule but fitter, faster and stronger than he was before the knee surgery that kept him out for three months. The returns of Anthony Watson and James Haskell in recent weeks have also been major boosts for England
Much has been made of England’s potential history-makers on Saturday, but Ireland are under just as much pressure to win this match. If they lose and drop to fifth in the world rankings they will face New Zealand, England, Australia, or Wales in the Pool stages of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
4. No Conor Murray
Murray’s absence because of a shoulder is the more acute loss, given that the Munster scrum-half has been the outstanding player for Ireland this season, while his replacement Kieran Marmion, is inexperienced and lacks a kicking game to take the pressure of his fly-half partner Jonathan Sexton.