Ruthless England thrash Ireland in World Cup warm-up

Conor Murray is looking to help Ireland reach the semi-finals of the World Cup for the first time

Conor Murray is looking to help Ireland reach the semi-finals of the World Cup for the first time

England issued a powerful statement ahead of the World Cup by overwhelming Ireland 57-15 at Twickenham in a victory that set records for highest score and greatest winning margin against their Six Nations rivals.

The only blot on the landscape was another hamstring injury to prop, Mako Vunipola.

"There's a malaise about the team, but you can't blame individuals", he said.

Itoje's eminence helped turn the Ireland lineout into a disaster area and the lock paid tribute to the coaching of assistant Steve Borthwick and the input from back-up second rows Joe Launchbury and Charlie Ewels in helping to formulate the plan that resulted in the Lions forward and George Kruis, his fellow Saracens jumper, dominate this key area at Twickenham.

It was Joe Schmidt's team who took first blood through an early Jordan Larmour try, but their hopes of clinching the win that would lift them to the summit of the global rankings at the expense of Wales quickly disintegrated.

With flyhalf Johnny Sexton absent due to a minor injury and his replacement Ross Byrne pushed off his game by England's rush defence, Ireland were looking rudderless and they seemed delighted to get off the field 22-10 down at halftime.

However, a superb move from left to right created space for Joe Cokanasiga to get in for an impressive response.

Ireland exhausted badly and there was no stopping the hosts, with George Kruis - later yellow-carded for a high challenge - profiting from a TMO review and then Kyle Sinckler and Sam Underhill combining beautifully for Tom Curry to score. "I love it every time I put this jersey on". Ford wobbled last week, particularly kicking out of hand, and today we'll see whether Farrell can once again serve as the comfort blanket of the partnership and serenely coax Ford to the state of solace he needs to play his best. It is hard to describe it without using a lot of profanity. "The challenge is for us to do this wherever we go and we are in a good place". "We are nowhere near where we need to be the only upside is that it is the middle of August not the middle of September".