England v Ireland in Dublin (World Cup Warm-up)
Venue: Aviva Stadium
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
England has a very poor record against Ireland over the last few years. They have registered one win since 2008, and then you have to go back to 2003 for the one before that. England will want a win as a confidence boost before heading to New Zealand.
Ireland is registering a poor run in their World Cup warm-up matches, losing all three so far and are in danger of slumping to their lowest IRB points tally all time.
England has an injury scare in Nick Easter. Fourie has been called into the squad as cover. Jonny Wilkinson will be keen to impress in this game and cement pole position as England’s 2011 Rugby World Cup fly half.
Brian O’Driscoll will miss this final kick-out for the Irish before heading to New Zealand. He has a slight injury and won’t be risked. Paul O’Connell takes over the captaincy.
Veteran Irish full back Geordan Murphy returns to test rugby after a long break. This is not the strongest possible Irish combination.
Last Five Encounters
19.03.2011 Ireland 24-8 in Dublin (6 Nations)
27.02.2010 Ireland 20-16 at Twickenham (6 Nations)
18.02.2009 Ireland 14-13 in Dublin (6 Nations)
15.02.2008 England 33-10 at Twickenham (6 Nations)
14.02.2007 Ireland 43-13 in Dublin (6 Nations)
England last defeated Ireland in Dublin in 2003, winning 42-6. England has registered only the one win, in 2008, since. They have a decidedly poor record against Ireland in the last decade.
GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table- Ireland 6th, England 8th
Europe Table-Ireland 3rd, England 5th
IRB Ranking Points
England 81.82, Ireland 79.57
Prediction: Ireland to upset all the pundits and win by 10 points
15 Benjamin Foden, 14 Christopher Ashton, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 MichaelTindall, Capt. 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Jonny Wilkinson, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Nicholas Easter,
7 James Haskell, 6 Thomas Croft, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Louis Deacon, 3 Daniel Cole, 2 Steven Thompson, 1 Andrew Sheridan.
16 Dylan Hartley, 17 Matthew Stevens, 18 Simon Shaw, 19 Thomas Wood, 20 Joseph Simpson, 21 Tobias Flood, 22 Delon Armitage.
Head Coach: Martin Johnson
15 Geordan Murphy, 14 Thomas Bowe, 13 Keith Earls, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Andrew Trimble, 10 Ronan O'Gara, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 James Heaslip, 7 David Wallace,
6 Stephen Ferris, 5 Paul O'Connell, Capt.4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 Michael Ross, 2 Jerremy Flannery, 1 Cian Healy.
16 Rory Best, 17 Thomas Court , 18 Donnacha Ryan, 19 Denis Leamy, 20 Conor Murray, 21 Jonathan Sexton, 22 Fergus McFadden.
Head Coach: Declan Kidney