England coach Simon Middleton backs Ireland to improve

England coach Simon Middleton is eyeing another Grand Slam triumph
England coach Simon Middleton is eyeing another Grand Slam triumph

England head coach Simon Middleton has backed Ireland to improve further despite their recent defeat at Musgrave Park on Saturday.

Alex Matthews scored a double while Sarah Beckett, Tatyana Heard, Ellie Kildunne, Marlie Packer, Morwenna Talling and Amber Reed all touched down for the red rose team as they completed a convincing 48-0 to maintain their hope of clinching the Grand Slam.

This was also Ireland's fourth defeat from as many games as they are languishing at the bottom of the table but Middleton citing the example of Wales is backing Greg McWilliams' side to close the gap with the top sides in the competition.

"Absolutely, it's all relevant to funding, growing the pool of players, and you can only do that over a period of time, these are only at the start of their journey.

"If you get enough backing, it will come. You can see the gains Wales have made with 18 months or two years on contracts, and you'll see it with these guys as well.

"We need to be patient, but at the same time impatient, because we want to push the game along quickly. There's a lot of great energy in the game, and goodwill in the game to take it forward. We'll get there".

England and France will be locking horns with each other in the final round at Twickenham Stadium on 29th April with the winner set to claim the Championship.