'Everybody hates England', says Ireland wing Mack Hansen

Hansen and Ireland can win a first Grand Slam since 2018 if they dispatch England in Dublin

By Steve Andrew
March 14, 2023, 12:30 p.m.

Mack Hansen believes Ireland are motivated by their rivalry with England PHOTO: Getty Images/Silvia Lore

Ireland winger Mack Hansen has upped the ante ahead of Saturday's Six Nations showdown by claiming that "everybody hates England".

Steve Borthwick's side will travel to Dublin on Saturday in the hope of stopping Ireland, the world's No1 side, claiming a first Grand Slam since 2018.

However, Hansen has declared that Ireland have motivation beyond finishing the tournament unbeaten.

"I think everybody hates England in general! It’s something I was aware of [before coming to Ireland] for sure," said the Australian-born Hansen who qualifies for Andy Farrell's side through his Cork-born mother.

"There's a fair bit of hatred, isn't there? It's good, though, because once the game is done they are good lads like everyone else. That s--- happened... how long ago now? But it does add a bit of fire to the game. I was unlucky that I didn't get to play last year, so fingers crossed I get to play next Saturday."

Hansen, who has been one of the stars of the tournament for Ireland, believes the match will be more challenging for his side after England suffered a record defeat at Twickenham against France last weekend.

"The worst thing that could have happened for us was England getting pumped at home," said the 24-year-old. "You just know they're going to turn around. They're a great side. It didn't go their way against France, but they still have unreal players.

"We know they're going to bounce back, we know they're going to bring a lot of energy. It'll be a completely different team to last weekend. But we want to play against the best and if they're at their best then it's going to be great, a good match."

Meanwhile Marcus Smith has declared that there is "no better week than a free swing at Ireland" as the England camp attempt to stabilise following last weekend's chastening defeat.

Acknowledging that England would be heavy underdogs he attempted to make sense of a disastrous outing for the side against France, Smith stressed that the squad must stay united.

Marcus Smith believes England have little left to lose in their final Six Nations game PHOTO: AP/Alastair Grant

"We just said stick together, because there’s going to be a lot of noise and a lot of pressure on us, and we’ve got to become tighter as opposed to splinter. Because this is a big test of our togetherness as a squad, of our resolve. There’s no better week than a free swing at Ireland."

Smith added that there was enough time for England to turn things around, despite the number of areas England have to address.

 "I think so. That’s the beauty of being in camp. We’ll roll in, come with a plan and work as hard as we can to improve. I think by stringing more minutes together and avoiding blips in our game, we can test teams. I think we showed that in parts today, we just didn’t marry it up enough and that’s something we’ve got to look at."

"We need to learn quicker, we need to improve quicker, and that’s the challenge Steve has given us – to look at our individual performances and all get better individually to try and add to the team. Time is against us, but I believe we’ve still got time. With the characters we’ve got in the group we can turn things around very quickly."

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