Strettle returns for England
March 15, 2012
David Strettle returns for England against Ireland © Getty Images
David Strettle has been recalled to the England side for Saturday's Six Nations clash with Ireland after recovering from a sternum injury.
The Saracens winger replaces Charlie Sharples in the only change to the starting team from last weekend's 24-22 win over France, with Bath hooker Lee Mears promoted to the replacements in place of the injured Rob Webber.
Northampton No.8 Phil Dowson also makes the bench again despite being knocked out in the closing stages of the victory over France.
"David Strettle has now recovered from his injury and will replace Charlie Sharples, who gained valuable experience in Paris," interim coach Stuart Lancaster said.
"It's good to have Lee Mears on the bench and he will bring great energy and experience should he get a chance to come on."
Wales' superior points difference of plus 38 leaves them with a strong grip on the Six Nations title, with England's hopes of sneaking the Championship resting on a big swing.
Lancaster's men must put Ireland to the sword and hope France wreck Wales' Grand Slam party with a comprehensive victory at the Millennium Stadium.
"It seems like yesterday when we got together in Leeds in January and began a new journey for England rugby," Lancaster said. "Graham Rowntree, Andy Farrell and myself firmly believe in this group of players and the direction we are going.
"Saturday is another step on that road and we are looking forward to coming home to a packed Twickenham with its special atmosphere and crowd. Their support has been phenomenal and we hope we can do the whole nation proud again."
England: B Foden (Northampton Saints); C Ashton (Northampton Saints), M Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), B Barritt (Saracens), D Strettle (Saracens); O Farrell (Saracens), L Dickson (Northampton Saints); A Corbisiero (London Irish), D Hartley (Northampton Saints), D Cole (Leicester Tigers), M Botha (Saracens), G Parling (Leicester Tigers), T Croft (Leicester Tigers), C Robshaw (Harlequins, capt), B Morgan (Scarlets)
Replacements: L Mears (Bath Rugby), M Stevens (Saracens), T Palmer (Stade Francais), P Dowson (Northampton Saints), B Youngs (Leicester Tigers), C Hodgson (Saracens), M Brown (Harlequins)
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Ahead of November's USA-All Blacks match, America's ESPN Magazine explains rugby to its readers who may not be familiar with the game
Tom Hamilton talks to World Cup-winning captain John Smit about life after rugby, his fears over the South African exodus and the World Cup
The reopening of the openside debate, a dominant wolf-pack and a sublime performance in defeat - Monday Maul looks at the weekend's talking points
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Rugby Championship alongside the best photographs from around the domestic game