Ireland international Conor Murray said the team is enjoying the talk of a possible Grand Slam as they head to Twickenham to face England for the final round of the Six Nations Championship.
Ireland's two Grand Slam success came in 1948 and 2009 and they are placed fifth in the list of achieving the triumph most number of times with England (13), Wales (11), France (9) and Scotland (3) occupying the top four positions.
Having already won the tournament, Joe Schmidt's side will face the red rose team in their own backyard and will be hoping to repeat their performance from the last season in Dublin where they dashed England's Grand Slam hopes.
“We can start talking about it now, because that’s what’s in front of us if things go well,” said Murray of Ireland’s bid for a Grand Slam to echo the achievements of 1948 and 2009.
“It would be right up there, probably at the top. Only Rob (Kearney) and Rory (Best) are left that have won a slam.
“The motivation is in our group and it’s about how we avoid the distraction of all that and go about our business like we usually do in a match week with something really special to play for.
“It’s not daunting, it’s a massive occasion, but it’s one this group is going to enjoy and relish.
“We do have the ability, it’s just about getting that performance together and trying to nail it as best we can.
“It’s a massive occasion and one a lot of lads haven’t faced into before. But there’s a lot of lads in the group that have played in massive, massive games and know how to go about a big match week.
“There’s a crop of younger players in this group that the older, more experienced players can guide through the week. I wouldn’t have any fears about the younger players, they’re just so good at rugby that it comes so naturally to them.
“If there’s a bit of advice here and there that older lads can give, I’m sure we will. That’s the challenge of a unique week we have.”
Ireland's success in the ongoing Six Nations tournament has seen them leapfrog England to the second position in the World Rugby rankings for the first time since August 2015.
A win for Ireland at Twickenham could see Eddie Jones' side ending in the bottom half of the table but Murray is expecting a strong backlash from the 2003 World Cup champions.
“They’ve had a couple of tough games but they’re still the same side which won a slam and another championship back-to-back,” said Murray, of England.
“So that’s the same thing as us losing a game here or there, a couple of things not going right, but we still believe we’re good enough and we would be. England are going to be no different. They’re going to be coming home, they’re going to have a lot to play for, a lot of pride as well, they’re full of world-class players.
“I wouldn’t get fooled by the fact they’ve lost a couple of games. I still think they’re a really, really good side that can be very dangerous.
“I don’t think we’ll fall into that trap, definitely not. I think we’ve enough knowledge about them and experience to deal with that.”
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