|Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin Date: Saturday, 18 March Kick-off: 17:00 GMT|
|Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio Ulster; follow live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app|
Ireland coach Andy Farrell insists that battling with his England fly-half son Owen in big games such as Saturday’s Grand Slam contest in Dublin doesn’t cause him any anxiety.
The Ireland coach expects a fired-up England but says facing his son “has never been difficult” for either party.
“It is what it is for us. It’s respect,” said the Irish boss.
Elaborating further on how they approach contests against each other, the Ireland coach added: “We don’t ask questions that put the other person in too much of a predicament.”
Owen Farrell will captain England in the St Patrick’s Day weekend game after being selected in place of Marcus Smith and the Ireland coach says the presence of his son will only make the wounded visitors more of a threat as they aim to spoil the expected Irish party at the Aviva Stadium.
‘Owen and Johnny are pretty similar’
The Ireland coach says the Saracens player possesses a similarly driven attitude to Ireland’s fly-half talisman Johnny Sexton.
“Owen and Johnny are pretty similar as far as the fight and the drive and the want.
“Both are super competitors and will make sure that their team is of the same mindset as them.
“That’s why I’m saying to you that England are going to be extremely dangerous this weekend because of mentality like that,” adds the Ireland boss, who was on the same side as his son when he assisted then England coach Stuart Lancaster between 2012 and the 2015 World Cup.
Owen’s young sons Tommy and Freddie also travelled to Dublin on Thursday and the Ireland coach joked that he would attempt to “squeeze them to cheer for Ireland”.
While England’s number 10 is the big talking point of Steve Borthwick’s selection, Sexton inevitably is garnering many of the Irish headlines as he attempts to skipper Ireland to only the country’s fourth Grand Slam in what will be his final Six Nations match before he retires following this year’s World Cup in France.
Asked if there would be any ceremony around Sexton’s final match in the competition, Farrell replied: “Hopefully there are bigger games than this to come (for him).
“We know this will be his last Six Nations game but he will be playing in a couple of warm-up games here before we go to the World Cup.
“We know it’s a huge occasion for Johnny and it’s very fitting, he gets to have a crack at a game like this in his last one but that won’t detract (from his performance) – anything but.”
The Ireland coach is hoping the intensity of Saturday’s occasion could possibly even rival that of the famous 2007 Six Nations contest at Croke Park when he himself lined out for England as the fired-up Irish hammered the visitors 43-13.
Amid the redevelopment of the old Lansdowne Road into what became the Aviva Stadium, the home of Gaelic Games staged rugby internationals for the first time that year and the game against England had many historical resonances.
“I’ve used it time and time again throughout my coaching career in regards to performing when it matters,” said Farrell.
“The Irish team at that time had to win because of the occasion and Croke Park and all of that.
“How they went after that game, getting the balance of the right emotion but at the same time, playing the game that was in front of them was fantastic in regards to the occasion and the crowd etc. I use that a lot. I think it said a lot about the Irish mentality.
“I think it definitely will be (a great atmosphere on Saturday) with the commitment from the crowd with the excitement and the buzz around Paddy’s weekend.”