The Ireland coaching team has named an unchanged side for the RBS 6 Nations clash against England at Twickenham. Kick Off 4pm Saturday.
Paul O’Connell will lead the side as Ireland seek their first win in Twickenham since 2010. Chris Henry, a try scorer against Wales, retains the No.7 jersey and is joined in the back row by Peter O’Mahony and Jamie Heaslip.
Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton continue as the half-back pairing with Brian O’Driscoll and Gordon D’Arcy lining out in midfield. O’Driscoll today equals George Gregan as the most capped player of all time in Test rugby.
There are two changes on the bench with Iain Henderson in for the injured Dan Touhy and the uncappedJordi Murphy providing back-row cover.
IRELAND Team & Replacements v England, Twickenham Stadium, London,
RBS 6 Nations Championship, Saturday 22nd February kick-off 16.00 GMT
15. Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster) 51
14. Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster) 52
13. Brian O’Driscoll (UCD/Leinster) 130
12. Gordon D’Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster) 76
11. Dave Kearney (Lansdowne/Leinster) 4
10. Jonathan Sexton (Racing Metro 92) 40
9. Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 24
8. Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster) 62
7. Chris Henry (Malone/Ulster) 11
6. Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) 21
5. Paul O’Connell (Young Munster/Munster) 89 capt
4. Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster) 12
3. Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster) 36
2. Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) 72
1. Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 44
16. Sean Cronin (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) 32
17. Jack McGrath (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) 5
18. Martin Moore (Lansdowne/Leinster) 2
19. Iain Henderson (Ballinahinch/Ulster) 7
20. Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster)*
21. Isaac Boss (Terenure College/Leinster) 19
22. Paddy Jackson (Dungannon/Ulster) 7
23. Fergus McFadden (Old Belvedere/Leinster) 23
*denotes uncapped player
England: 15 Mike Brown (Harlequins); 14 Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), 13 Luther Burrell (Northampton Saints), 12 Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester), 11 Jonny May (Gloucester); 10 Owen Farrell (Saracens), 9 Danny Care (Harlequins); 1 Joe Marler (Harlequins), 2 Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), 3 David Wilson (Bath), 4 Joe Launchbury (London Wasps), 5 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), 6 Tom Wood (Northampton Saints), 7 Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, capt), 8 Billy Vunipola (Saracens).
Replacements: 16 Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers), 17 Mako Vunipola (Saracens), 18 Henry Thomas (Sale Sharks), 19 Dave Attwood (Bath), 20 Ben Morgan (Gloucester), 21 Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints), 22 George Ford (Bath), 23 Alex Goode (Saracens).
The match handicap is covered by four points with Ireland (+4) on offer at 10/11. Ireland who will be looking to make it three wins from three in the 2014 6 Nations are currently 9/2 to win the Grand Slam.
France who are currently 9/5 joint favourites with Ireland to win the 6 Nations are 6/5 to defeat Wales on Friday night whilst Warren Gatland’s Wales are 4/6 to bounce back to winning ways following defeat to Ireland.
Italy and Scotland who are both 5000/1 outsiders to win the 6 Nations, face each other in Saturday’s other match. With home advantage for the Italian’s they are 4/6 to defeat the Scots (6/5) whilst 10/11 is on offer for either team to cover the three point handicap.
Liam Glynn, PR Executive at Boylesports said “Ireland are now 9/5 joint favourites to win the 6 Nations and we certainly will have to take a hit if Joe Schmidt’s men win the tournament as they have been backed down from 13/2 prior to the tournament commencing.”
He added “Ireland’s match against England will be crucial and we have already seen a lot of patriotic money for the Boys in Green to defeat England at 6/4.”