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.
"We know where we are going and we know where we want to get but how long that will take is anybody's guess." David Humphreys on his plans for Gloucester
Jim Mallinder and Justin Burnell were sat on the same top table, but in different circumstances. Tom Hamilton reports on the Aviva Premiership season launch
Tom Hamilton reports back from the launch of the Guinness PRO12 where there is a renewed sense of optimism with all of the off-field changes to the league
So much for the great Australian revival, writes Greg Growden. It now has the potential of going off the rails after the capitulation at Eden Park