Ireland name unchanged side to face England


Ireland have named an unchanged squad to face England at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Sunday.

There had been injury doubts over Gordon D’Arcy and Peter O’Mahony in particular but both have been declared fit for the weekend and retain their starting spots.

O’Mahony starts at six with Sean O’Brien at seven, whilst Jamie Heaslip once remains as captain from the base of the scrum, leaving Ulster’s Chris Henry on the bench once again.

D’Arcy will start for the 49th time alongside Brian O’Driscoll in the centres, their breakdown nous could be critical in their battle with England’s Billy Twelvetrees and Brad Barritt.

O’Driscoll starts having brushed off some minor fears about the head injury he sustained during his man of the match performance in the 30-22 win against Wales.

The new star of the Ireland team, Simon Zebo, retains his spot on the left wing, with Craig Gilroy starting on the right. They hold off the challenge of Earls from the bench and Luke Fitzgerald and Fergus McFadden from within the squad.

Andrew Trimble and Darren Cave had been called into the squad as cover amidst fears over the fitness of D’Arcy and Earls but Trimble will have to wait a little longer for his 50th cap after both were declared fit.

In the front row Cian Healy, Rory Best and Mike Ross will be looking to avenge the scrummaging disaster that took place last year at Twickenham where the Irish scrum seemed to disintegrate, though it was at its worst after Mike Ross came off.

Ireland squad to face England 10/2/13:

15. Rob Kearney 14. Craig Gilroy 13. Brian O’Driscoll 12. Gordon D’Arcy 11. Simon Zebo 10. Jonny Sexton 9. Connor Murray; 1. Cian Healy 2. Rory Best 3. Mike Ross 4. Mike McCarthy 5. Donnacha Ryan 6. Peter O’Mahony 7. Sean O’Brien 8. Jamie Healsip(c).

Replacements: 16. Sean Cronin 17. David Kilcoyne 18. Decan Fitzpatrick 19. Donnacha O’Callghan 20. Chris Henry 21. Eoin Reddan 22. Ronan O’Gara 23. Keith Earls.

Click here for the England squad.

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