Strettle and O'Brien back in action
March 15, 2012
David Strettle was forced to sit out England's win over France © 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.
Ireland have confirmed that Sean O'Brien will start after recovering from a foot infection. O'Brien returned to training on Monday and coach Declan Kidney is confident the reigning European player of the year will be ready for the climax to the tournament at Twickenham. A course of antibiotics was needed to treat the infection and O'Brien lost two kilos while ill.
Munster openside Peter O'Mahony, who impressed on his full debut in Saturday's 32-14 rout of Scotland, drops to the bench to make room for the 25-year-old.
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)
Ireland: R Kearney (Leinster); T Bowe (Ospreys), K Earls (Munster), G D'Arcy (Leinster), A Trimble (Ulster); J Sexton (Leinster), E Reddan (Leinster); C Healy (Leinster), R Best (Ulster, capt), M Ross (Leinster), D O'Callaghan (Munster), D Ryan (Munster), S Ferris (Ulster), S O'Brien (Leinster), J Heaslip (Leinster)
Replacements: S Cronin (Leinster), T Court (Ulster), M McCarthy (Connacht), P O'Mahony (Munster), T O'Leary (Munster), R O'Gara (Munster), F McFadden (Leinster)
Referee: N Owens (Wales)
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Where does Italy's win over Scotland rank among their successes in the Six Nations? Scrum Sevens investigates
The tone was set early on in Dublin as a more clinical Ireland made England pay. All is not lost, however, argues Phil Vickery
Monday Maul takes in retirement talk, England reshuffles, France's unfair advantage and Scotland's communication breakdown
John Griffiths takes an analytical look at Week 3 of ESPN Scrum's Fantasy Rugby game - who should you have picked?