An opening defeat in France was followed by a thumping victory over Scotland last weekend and with both the French and Welsh unbeaten so far, victory over Ireland - who are also one-from-two – is imperative to keep their title retention hopes alive
“It will be a good match and it’s especially important for us. We have to win every game from here on if we want to have a chance to win the Six Nations again,” Stephenson told the Saints Podcast.
“We watched their game against Scotland and they’re a really physical side, a good outfit. Last year Italy were a good side, but the scoreline maybe didn’t show that. I’d expect it to be a lot closer against Ireland.”
Over 8,000 turned up for that 52-7 drubbing of Italy by an England side containing four Saints, Stephenson included, as well as recent England debutant Jack Nowell.
“The crowd last year when we played Italy was magnificent and hopefully this year it will be the same,” Stephenson added. “It’s always good to have a home match and especially at Franklin’s Gardens, where the fans are so passionate.
“A lot of the boys haven’t played here before and I think they’ll love the experience of a big Saints crowd.”
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