Mostly, sport is a wonderful distraction. Compared to the messy complexities of politics, its simple certainties are comforting and clear. Winners and losers, heroes and villains and a definitive result at the end of the contest. Almost uniquely, it seems able to channel raging partisan passion into benignly harmless banter.
Historically, Irish teams have struggled at the fortress of English rugby. Usually out-muscled by the stronger team in white, the rare wins are invariably close...
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