Ireland coach Declan Kidney says Ireland are treating this weekend’s RBS 6 Nations clash with England as a cup final.
Speaking at the announcement of the Ireland squad, despite finishing the season trophy-less Kidney believes a win over England would represent a great achievement in itself.
Ireland received a boost ahead of the game as both Jonathan Sexton and Donnacha Ryan were shortlisted for the 2012 RBS 6 Nations Player of the Tournament.
The nominations are drawn from all players who picked up man-of the match awards in the first four weekends of the 6 Nations.
The Nenagh man was named man-of-the match against Scotland while Sexton received the honour against Italy.
Interestingly, there are no England players on the shortlist.
England name their team to face Ireland on Thursday.