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Andy Farrell has no grudges over England exit

Andy Farrell has no grudges over England exit
© Reuters
The Ireland head coach left Twickenham shortly after Eddie Jones took over from Stuart Lancaster.

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell insists he does not hold a grudge against England counterpart Eddie Jones ahead of their Guinness Six Nations showdown.

Farrell was dismissed from his position as England defence coach in late 2015 shortly after Jones was appointed following the resignation of Stuart Lancaster.

The pair are set to go head-to-head on Sunday when Ireland clash with England at Twickenham.

Andy Farrell, left, worked under Stuart Lancaster when he coached England
Andy Farrell, left, worked under Stuart Lancaster when he coached England (David Davies/PA)

Farrell rejected Jones' advances to lure him back into the England management set-up two years ago but admits there are no hard feelings and he enjoys picking the Australian's brain.

"My honest opinion on that, I don't think it was my job anyway," Farrell said of being let go by Jones just over four years ago.

"I worked for Stuart and Stuart had left and I would have done exactly the same if I was Eddie."

He continued: "He's certainly a very wise coach, he's been through a hell of a lot.

"He's had some awesome experiences and I've always enjoyed going for a coffee with Eddie and talking through those experiences.

"He loves talking about rugby and so do I, and I like to try and tap into those experiences that he's been through."

Farrell's England departure came after Lancaster's team were eliminated at the end of the pool stage during a dismal World Cup campaign on home soil.

The 44-year-old has since rebuilt his coaching career with Ireland, working as part of Joe Schmidt's backroom staff from 2016 until he stepped up to the main job after last year's World Cup.

Asked about his decision to snub Jones' approach in 2018 with a view to replacing Paul Gustard, Farrell replied: "He asked the question and I had a good job anyway, so that was that."

Ireland travel to south west London bidding to secure a second Triple Crown in two years following successive Dublin victories over Scotland and Wales.

Farrell revealed he has received observations from predecessor Schmidt on his team's start to the tournament.

"I spoke to Joe a few times, yeah. It's always good to get a handle, obviously he's not been in camp or doesn't quite know what we've been trying to do, but it's great to get some feedback," said Farrell.

"He's been to a few games, he's watched the games and will be watching in a little bit more depth than other people so it's always nice to get a bit of feedback."

Farrell has named an unchanged starting XV for the England game, with number eight Caelan Doris returning to the bench following a head injury.

The Irish team received a motivational talk from Dublin-born U2 frontman Bono on Tuesday evening, a visit Farrell believes was beneficial for his players.

"He absolutely loves his rugby, he's a big fan. And his wife, Ali, she came along as well and she's a bigger fan," said Farrell.

"She was at the (Wales) game at the weekend with the Edge (U2 guitarist).

"Apparently Bono can't go to the games with her because she screaming very loudly in the stands, so he tends to watch at home but he's a massive fan. It was fantastic for him to give up his time, we learnt a lot."

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Ireland head coach Andy Farrell pictured in January 2020
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