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Joe Schmidt sets sights on grand slam after Ireland secure Six Nations title

• Schmidt incredibly relieved to have championship in the bag
• Gregor Townsend felt Scotland were miles ahead of recent showing

They are champions, but the real business awaits at Twickenham. Ireland went through that curious half-climax on Saturday of winning a title dressed in suits in a stadium, willing on others to secure them the booty. It is not quite the experience red of tooth and claw that sportsmen crave, in the moment and on the field, but to complete the grand slam by beating England next weekend would be.

Joe Schmidt almost confessed to the semi-satisfactory nature of this latest triumph, a third Six Nations title out of five from his tenure as Ireland coach. As things stand, his first, the 2014 championship, won on the field in Paris in Brian O’Driscoll’s last game, remains his favourite memory.

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