Ireland vs England LIVE rugby: Result and reaction from World Cup warm-up after Billy Vunipola red card

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Billy Vunipola was sent off as England’s stuttering Rugby World Cup preparations were thrown into further disarray by a costly 29-10 defeat to Ireland amid Owen Farrell’s ongoing disciplinary saga.

The No 8 is likely to miss the start of the tournament in France after his 53rd-minute yellow card for making contact with the head of Andrew Porter was upgraded to red.

Steve Borthwick’s men were comfortably dispatched in a disjointed Dublin affair, which influential captain Farrell sat out following the fallout of his dismissal against Wales last weekend. Vunipola’s premature departure compounded a meek display and he will now join Saracens team-mate Farrell in facing a disciplinary panel with England’s World Cup opener against Argentina on September 9 fast approaching.

Keith Earls marked his 100th cap by claiming the fifth of Ireland’s tries, adding to scores from Bundee Aki, Garry Ringrose, James Lowe and Mack Hansen, as the hosts retained their place at the top of the world rankings courtesy of a 12th successive win.

Relive all the action from Ireland vs England below.

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Billy Vunipola red card adds more disciplinary drama as England beaten by Ireland

The No 8 is likely to miss the start of the tournament in France after his 53rd-minute yellow card for making contact with the head of Andrew Porter was upgraded to red.

Steve Borthwick’s men were comfortably dispatched in a disjointed Dublin affair, which influential captain Farrell sat out following the fallout of his dismissal against Wales last weekend.

Vunipola’s premature departure compounded a meek display and he will now join Saracens team-mate Farrell in facing a disciplinary panel with England’s World Cup opener against Argentina on September 9 fast approaching.

Keith Earls marked his 100th cap by claiming the fifth of Ireland’s tries, adding to scores from Bundee Aki, Garry Ringrose, James Lowe and Mack Hansen, as the hosts retained their place at the top of the world rankings courtesy of a 12th successive win.

Harry Latham-Coyle19 August 2023 20:03

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FT: Ireland 29-10 England

Ireland, meanwhile, head for the French Basque country, and a meeting with Samoa in Bayonne. Unlike England, there’s probably no need for Andy Farrell to risk his likely World Cup starters – I think they’ll have taken enough from today’s performance to be confident that they are retaining their momentum into the tournament. Remember, Farrell’s side open their Pool B efforts with an encounter with Romania, who are in a right state and had 50 points put on them by Italy today after a sending off.

Harry Latham-Coyle19 August 2023 19:58

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FT: Ireland 29-10 England

What does Borthwick do with his selection against Fiji next Saturday now? I think in the England head coach’s planning, he’d have intended to mix in a few more of his fringe squad faces and cotton wool a couple before the tournament opener against Argentina on 9 September, but England desperately need to build some momentum – and Fiji won’t simply go to Twickenham and roll over.

Harry Latham-Coyle19 August 2023 19:55

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Steve Borthwick speaks to Amazon after England’s defeat

“I think probably right now I feel as every English fan feels, disappointed with the result and the lack of progress in the areas we wanted to. There will be plenty of things we take away from this and clearly we’ll have to go through the process with Billy Vunipola.

“We knew another week of disruption was coming; now it is going to be amplified with Billy. With 15 men on the pitch, there was a tightness in the game. When we went to 14 men, we struggled.

“We certainly put a large emphasis on discipline and safety. What we need to do is take that incident in isolation, and the previous incident the previous week, but also make sure that the penalty count away from that is reduced. The penalties put us under pressure.

“I think right now is not hte moment to think through all the eventualities. We will debrief the game and go to the discilpinar process with Billy Vunipola.

“I emphathise with supporters. We wanted more progress today than we saw. Against the best side in the world, you’ve got to keep 15 players on the pitch. Through the first period of the game, I thought there were signs, but we’ve got to take our opportunities. One of our objectives today was to show an ability to move the ball. I saw the intent to do that but we didn’t execute in the way we wanted to. The overriding emotion is disappointment that we didn’t step forward in the way we’d have liked.”

Harry Latham-Coyle19 August 2023 19:50

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And Andy Farrell says…

“We all know that England’s lineout defence is very good and we couldn’t get our rhythm in that regard. I’m really proud how we found that rhythm back. James Ryan did a great job in that respect. We played some good stuff in the second half.

“You know you are in a good place when there is ownership. They take responsiblity for how they play.

[On selection, with his World Cup squad to be named Monday week] “We’ve got a few days to go over there in Bayonne. We’ll assess that as we go. We’ve got a good squad because of the competition for places over the last few years and the experiences we’ve had together. That’s the situation you want to be in.

“It’s not just about going low, it’s timing, it’s depth perception, it’s everything like that. It’s not just tackling, it is discipline in general. We spend a lot of time on it and thankfully we seem to be doing ok with it. But it’s rugby, and stuff is going to happen, and we’ll have to react it.”

Harry Latham-Coyle19 August 2023 19:46

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Courtney Lawes also offers his post-match thoughts

“Not the performance we wanted at all. We knew it was going to be hard coming away from home against the number one team in the world but we really hurt ourselves in certain areas today. We are pretty disappointed with that.”

[On Billy Vunipola’s sending off] “What can you do, really? We never gave up and that is something to take away. We will continue to press on and try to improve.

“Look, people aren’t doing this on purpose. It’s not a question of ‘we need to tackle lower’. Mistakes happen and it is going to continue to be part and parcel of the game, unfortunately.

“I can’t really comment on it too much. I don’t normally hit too high but that is not how everyone tackles. Obviously we’ve got to try and make the sport safer for everyone involved. That’s why these sanctions are in place – we got a red card for it today. We are not trying to hurt each other, it’s split second decisions. Mistakes happen.”

(Getty Images)

Harry Latham-Coyle19 August 2023 19:38

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Keith Earls speaks to Amazon Prime after his 100th cap

With his daughters alongside him, Earls says: “It was genuinely one of the toughest weeks of my career, I don’t like all the pressure! thankfully we got the win. I know for a fact that Andy Farrell won’t be happy with some facets of our game, but I’ll take that one in the corner.

“It was very emotional [walking out with his daughters ahead of kick off]. They’ve seen a lot of hurt over the last 12 years, disappointments with Munster. In the last couple of months they’ve seen all of the happiness that rugby can bring. It’s great to have them out here.

“I wouldn’t be here putting myself through this if I didn’t want to be here. It’s going to be a tough couple of weeks for Andy and the coaching staff to pick their squad but I definitely still have a burning desire to play for Ireland.”

(Getty Images)

Harry Latham-Coyle19 August 2023 19:30

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FT: Ireland 29-10 England

It’s not looking good for Steve Borthwick’s side. Familiar failings in all facets for the visitors, and Billy Vunipola’s sending off and impending ban will cause further fretting. England’s lawyer Richard Smith KC will be a busy man next week.

Harry Latham-Coyle19 August 2023 19:25

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FT: Ireland 29-10 England

A fair bit of rust still to be shaken off by Ireland but their march towards the World Cup continues with a convincing win. Their attack wasn’t fluent throughout yet still caused England reasonably consistent problems, and the margin might well have been larger were it not for some untimely lineout blunders. Defensively, Ireland were strong when required, which England will feel wasn’t often enough.

This was a lovely moment for Keith Earls, too:

Harry Latham-Coyle19 August 2023 19:24

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FULL TIME: IRELAND 29-10 ENGLAND

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Harry Latham-Coyle19 August 2023 19:20



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