England's masterful hat-trick hero Jonathan Joseph is confident the Six Nations champion will not be intimidated by the prospect of facing Ireland in Dublin in pursuit of becoming the first team to win successive grand slams. Victory over Scotland leaves the Red Rose 80 minutes from consecutive clean sweeps and eclipsing New Zealand's 18-match winning run, which they matched during a sparkling display at Twickenham
Joseph's second international treble delivered the most convincing victory of Eddie Jones' tenure over the rivals from north of the border. The win means England travel to the Aviva Stadium on Saturday [18 March] with the potential of eclipsing the All Blacks' winning streak and clinching another piece of silverware under the Australian's stewardship, having retained the triple crown and Calcutta Cup as well as their Six Nations crown.
Though England have struggled to reach the heights which saw them enjoy an unbeaten 2016, the joint-equalling heaviest win over Vern Cotter's men was the most comprehensive of their Six Nations campaign. And given the hurdles they have cleared so far under Jones, Joseph says his side have nothing to fear travelling to the Irish capital.
"This team has moved on leaps and bounds, everyone would agree with that," he explained. "For us we've had many challenges over the past year, two years and we've overcome a lot of them.
"For us this is another great challenge, one that is right up there and we'll see in training we'll be right ready for it. Australia and games we've already played away in this Six Nations have been great tests for us. Ireland will be fight up there and a really big challenge."
The Bath centre admitted there was "no frustration" after being omitted from the squad which beat Italy a fortnight ago. Nevertheless, his hard work in the intervening period paid off as he benefitted from the platform created by a solid set-piece and the creativity of Ben Youngs, George Ford and Owen Farrell to scoop the man-of-the-match award.
"On a day like today when the sun is out, the forwards are on the front foot; it's a dream," he added. "It makes our job so much easier. The way that they play it create massive amount of space for us on the outside. All we have to do is pick our holes and the rest is done.
"I worked very hard to get back into the team. I was [the lucky one]. It started with the set piece and how the boys executed on the inside. I just seemed to be the right options, The hole as there for me and luckily I finished."