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Heaslip still hoping for title triumph

Guinness PRO12 Editor

16 Mar 2010

Leinster No8 Jamie Heaslip remains hopeful that Ireland can retain their Six Nations crown.

Heaslip was part of the Ireland side that demolished Wales 27-12 at Croke Park last weekend to record their third victory of the championship.

The results means Ireland can still finish top of the standings, but only if they beat Scotland by a hugely convincing margin and England triumph over Grand Slam favourites France in Paris.

France currently have a points difference that is 50 better than Ireland’s, meaning anything less than an emphatic destruction of the Scots would effectively hand the title to the French even before their late kick off on Saturday evening.

But Heaslip, who is expected to play a huge part in table-topping Leinster’s challenge for Magners League glory, still believes that Ireland’s form and traditional French inconsistencies could see the title remain in Irish hands. 

"We’re still playing for the championship next Saturday – big time,” said Heaslip, who should start at No8 once more as Ireland go in search of a fifth Triple Crown in seven years.

"We’re going out to win and hopefully there’s some silverware at the end of it because you never know what you’re going to get with France. The Triple Crown would be great as well. 

"If England turn up they can win because France are a very beatable side. 

"They’re good and they’ll punish you if you let them, but if you match them physically and shut down some of their strike runners you can cause them many problems." 

While Heaslip is preparing to face Scotland, his Leinster team-mates are getting ready for a top-of-the-table Magners League tie with Glasgow Warriors this Wednesday.

The Dubliners know victory at the RDS would see them open up at least a four-point gap on second placed Edinburgh as the race for the Play Offs begins in earnest.