Foden eyes Grand Slam
Full-back claims there is a buzz around the England camp
By Tony Curtis - Twitter: @SkySportsTC. Last Updated: March 15, 2011 7:42am
Full-back Ben Foden claims there is a "buzz" around the England camp ahead of their Grand Slam showdown with Ireland in Dublin.
"Everyone's always sort of said 'You can't talk about it' but it's always been in the back of your mind."
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England travel to Lansdowne Road on Saturday with their sights set on a first RBS Six Nations clean sweep since 2003.
England's points difference in the championship means that the 22-16 win over Scotland at Twickenham means the title has virtually been secured - with Wales only having a mathematical chance over overhauling them.
And although England boss Martin Johnson has been keen to play down talk of the Grand Slam, Foden insists it is hard for the players not to think about it.
"Winning a Grand Slam goes down in the history books,'' Foden said. "It shows where England have come from.
"A couple of years ago we were struggling a little bit, always coming third or second but never really looking like winning it.
"This year we went in as favourites after the autumn and we've backed it up. We are not the finished article, but as long as we keep winning no one can really argue with that.
"There's been a buzz around the camp since before the Scotland game that we are playing (for a Slam). Everyone's always sort of said 'You can't talk about it' but it's always been in the back of your mind.
"Now the last hurdle's ahead of us, we can see the goal at the end of the tunnel. There'll be a buzz around camp and hopefully a spring in the step and hopefully that will show in the performance at the weekend.''
Foden admits the talk of the Grand Slam had affected England's performance against Scotland - and the Northampton flyer knows his side can't afford a repeat in Dublin.
"We let things creep into the back of our minds against Scotland. We knew it was a big game and if we got it out the way we could all focus on this weekend's game against Ireland,'' Foden said.
"We were a bit flat when we came out. In this competition you can't do that. It was definitely a wake-up call. If we play like that in Dublin I don't think we'll be getting a victory.
"Winning the game was the most important thing so for us it was just getting past the obstacle. Now we've won four from four and we can really focus on the Ireland game.''