Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
The game we have all been waiting for. Standing 2nd and 3rd on the world rankings behind New Zealand this could well be the 6 Nations Championship title fight. Both teams
England has a dominant record against Ireland since March 2011. The last two encounters have been very close with England just edging ahead at the end.
Ireland are on a run. In their nine consecutive test wins since March 2014 South Africa and Australia are included in their scalps.
England’s injury worries continue but this line up emphasises the great depth they have. Today’s locks are relatively inexperienced but their success so far in this competition has meant they stay. The main injury concern has been Mike Brown’s concussion. His absence will be noticed. Apart from that no real weaknesses appear in England’s line up.
Ireland has Sean O’Brien back following his first game for nearly two years against France two weeks ago. He will be a major presence in the loose. Sexton is Ireland’s key player. How he dictates play could well be the edge.
And don’t forget the passionate Irish crowd in Dublin. There will be more noise than ever and watch the stadium lift if Ireland gets a win. Can’t wait!
22.03.2014 England 13-10 at Twickenham (6 Nations)
10.02.2013 England 12-6 in Dublin (6 Nations)
17.03.2012 England 30-9 at Twickenham (6 Nations)
27.08.2011 England 20-9 in Dublin (World Cup warm-up)
19.03.2011 Ireland 24-8 in Dublin (6 Nations)
England Last Five P 5, W 3, L 2
14.02.2015 v Italy W 47-17 at Twickenham (6 Nations)
06.02.2015 v Wales W 21-16 in Cardiff (6 Nations)
22.11.2014 v Samoa W 28-9 at Twickenham
15.11.2014 v South Africa L 28-31 at Twickenham
08.11.2014 v New Zealand L 21-24 at Twickenham
Ireland Last Five P 5, W 5
14.02.2015 v France W 18-11 in Dublin (6 Nations)
07.02.2015 v Italy W 26-3 in Rome (6 Nations)
22.11.2014 v Australia W 26-23 in Dublin
16.11.2014 v Georgia W 49-7 in Dublin
08.11.2014 v South Africa W 29-15 in Dublin
Ireland’s run of consecutive wins now stands at nine.
GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table: Ireland 1st, England 2nd
Europe Table: England 1st, Ireland 2nd
World Rugby Rankings
England 85.83, Ireland 85.66
Prediction: Ireland by 3 points
15 Robert Kearney, 14 Thomas Bowe, 13 Jared Payne, 12 Robert Henshaw,
11 Simon Zebo, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jordi Murphy, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Peter O'Mahony, 5 Paul O'Connell (Capt.), 4 Devin Toner, 3 Michael Ross, 2 Rory Best, 1 Jack McGrath
16 Sean Cronin, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Martin Moore, 19 Iain Henderson,
20 Thomas O'Donnell, 21 Eoin Reddan, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Felix Jones
Head Coach: Joe Schmidt
15 Alexander Goode, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Jack Nowell, 10 George Ford, 9 Benjamin Youngs, 8 William Vunipola, 7 Christopher Robshaw (Capt., 6 James Haskell, 5 George Kruis,
4 David Attwood, 3 Daniel Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Joseph Marler.
16 Thomas Youngs, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Henry Thomas, 19 Nicholas Easter, 20 Thomas Croft, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Daniel Cipriani, 23 William Twelvetrees.
Head Coach: Stuart Lancaster