Brendan Fanning

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Cautious CJ Stander keeps Ireland’s Six Nations champagne on ice

• Munster forward has missed out before• He expects to face ‘23 angry Englishmen’CJ Stander could be forgiven for mislaying the plot on Ireland’s history with the grand slam. In his excitement over being on the verge of the championship’s top prize he …

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The five hills Ireland have to climb for a Six Nations hat-trick | Brendan Fanning

The champions are aiming to become the first side to win three consecutive Six Nations titles but go into the 2016 tournament at a low ebb

Talking to tomorrow afternoon’s Calcutta Cup referee, John Lacey, about a range of issues before the World Cup kicked off, Paul O’Connell’s name cropped up. It was like a dark cloud passed overhead. “The stuff he does on the training field is almost as important as what he does on match day,” Lacey, a former team-mate, said, with much reverence. “He’d just sidle up to fellas and have a word in their ear at exactly the right time. And the effect would be massive. He’s the last man you’d want to let down.”

Related: Ireland to give CJ Stander Test debut against Wales in Six Nations

Related: Ireland’s Luke Fitzgerald out of Six Nations with knee injury

Related: Six Nations: Ireland name Rory Best captain and announce 35-man squad

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