Homecoming for Irish Grand Slam winners cancelled due to weather

And Best firmly believes this class of 2018 has the potential to build on a Grand Slam win and propel Irish rugby to new, rarefied heights.

Some guys have come in and done really well and some will maybe struggle to participate in the future, he said.

Best, who is Ireland's third most capped player with 111 and only legends Brian O'Driscoll and Ronan O'Gara ahead of him, said to do it with such a great bunch made it that bit more special.

"But there are other internal mechanisms that take time to fix".

And on the jeers at the end, Jones added: "I didn't hear them".

The trio of defeats have cast doubt on England's chances of dethroning New Zealand at next year's World Cup in Japan but a defiant Jones said: "Every team I have had that has been a champion team has had these runs and they are instrumental in how you remake a team".

"I'll listen to it on the replay and it will put me to sleep tonight".

Joe Schmidt acknowleges Irish rugby fans on arrival at Twickenham for the Grand Slam clinching test against England
Laurence Griffiths Joe Schmidt acknowleges Irish rugby fans on arrival at Twickenham for the Grand Slam clinching test against England

While supporters were unable to show up to show their admiration for the team, the players were still greeted with strong reception from the Dublin Airport staff after they landing back in Ireland this afternoon.

"We're really happy with today". "We've scored a lot of tries this year, but that pure resilience, the ability to get back up in the defensive line, that was exceptional".

"We knew we had to change and sometimes that hurts".

"We're going to keep training and working as hard as we can". "It's happened now. I'm sure we'll go away to South Africa and you'll see a response".

"The team must take more responsibility, that is all part of the process. We just have to decide if we have the time to get them ready for the World Cup".

The New Zealander was especially pleased Saturday by a defensive effort masterminded by defence coach Andy Farrell - the father of England fly-half Owen. We wanted a Grand Slam and I think we'll look beyond that at a later date. What matters to us is the rugby.

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  • Lawrence Cooper