England announces team to face Ireland
February 1, 2000
England will parade two new caps in Saturday's Six Nations Championship opener against Ireland at Twickenham.
Bath centre Mike Tindall and Northampton wing Ben Cohen, both 21, are rewarded for outstanding Premiership form this season by England coach Clive Woodward.
Yorkshireman Tindall has the daunting task of filling Jeremy Guscott's boots, Guscott having retired from Test rugby during the World Cup, while Cohen, nephew of England 1966 World Cup hero George, has a chance to establish himself with Dan Luger out injured.
Tindall's Bath colleague Mike Catt has fought off the challenge of Will Greenwood for the other centre berth, and will win his 40th cap.
In the pack, where Woodward is without both first choice locks Martin Johnson
Another uncapped player, precocious Bath talent Iain Balshaw starts among the replacements, as does Bedford scrum-half Andy Gomarsall, now back on the international scene following an absence of almost three years.
Woodward today also announced the England A side to tackle Ireland at Northampton on Friday which includes seven senior internationals under the captaincy of Saracens forward Tony Diprose.
But there is no place for Liam Botham, son of England cricket legend Ian, who last week chose England above Wales after being invited to take part in the
England team to play Ireland in Six Nations Championship at Twickenham on Saturday:
M Perry (Bath), A Healey (Leicester), M Tindall (Bath), M Catt (Bath), B Cohen (Northampton), J Wilkinson (Newcastle), M Dawson (Northampton, capt), J Leonard (Harlequins), P Greening (Sale), P Vickery (Gloucester), G Archer (Bristol), S Shaw (Wasps), R Hill (Saracens), N Back (Leicester), L Dallaglio (Wasps).
Replacements: I Balshaw (Bath), A King)Wasps), A Gomarsall (Bedford), M Corry (Leicester), J Worsley (Wasps), T Woodman (Gloucester), N McCarthy (Gloucester).
"Some people have it from day one and Brian did." Tom Hamilton talks to the two players who made their Ireland debuts alongside Brian O'Driscoll back in June 1999
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"The loudest cheer at a rugby game, away from social media gimmicks, pumping music and pyrotechnics will always be for a try." Tom Hamilton on the Twickenham atmosphere
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column