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.
"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
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'
"At the crux of this England team is a lack of fear, they are not afraid to throw playbooks out of the window." Tom Hamilton reports from Twickenham