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  • RBS Six Nations
  • 10th Feb 2013
  • KO 15:00
  • Ground: Aviva Stadium, Dublin
  • Att: 51,000

Ireland v England - RBS Six Nations match preview

Last updated: 10th February 2013   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Gordon D Arcy Ireland v England SN 2012

Gordon d'Arcy: Overcame injury scare to play for Ireland

Manu Tuilagi England training 2013

Manu Tuilagi: Only returned to training on Tuesday

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Stuart Lancaster believes Sunday's RBS Six Nations clash against Ireland would have been too early to put Manu Tuilagi back into England's starting line-up.

The star centre was absent from England's 38-18 opening win against Scotland last weekend due to an ankle injury.

He was available for selection again ahead of the showdown at Aviva Stadium but Lancaster has kept faith in the midfield partnership of Brad Barritt and Billy Twelvetrees, with Tuilagi on the bench.

"The decision was made for me on Tuesday. Manu was injured on January 13 and his first onfield rugby session was Tuesday," Lancaster told Sky Sports.

"To play a full 80 minutes against Ireland after that would be difficult for any player. I looked at the best way to give the team the best chance to win on Sunday and went with Manu off the bench. I'm sure he will be a handful.

"It (the decision) also says a lot about the performances by Billy and Brad last week as well.

"Billy was quietly pleased with his debut although he doesn't shout it from the rooftops. He gives us another dimension to our attacking game and he deserves to keep his place.

"Brad has been outstandingly consistent and had another good game for us at the weekend."

Lancaster does have to make one enforced change, however, as James Haskell comes in at flanker and Tom Wood switches to No 8 to replace Ben Morgan, who hobbled off against Scotland.

Ireland defeated defending champions Wales in their opening contest, meaning the showdown at Aviva could have a huge bearing on the destination of this year's title.

Coach Declan Kidney has the luxury of naming an unchanged side for the clash, with Gordon d'Arcy and Keith Earls overcoming injury worries to take their place in the starting XV.

Ireland: 15 R Kearney, 14 C Gilroy, 13 B O'Driscoll, 12 G D'Arcy, 11 S Zebo, 10 J Sexton, 9 C Murray, 8 J Heaslip (capt) 7 S O'Brien, 6 P O'Mahony, 5 D Ryan, 4 M McCarthy, 3 M Ross, 2 R Best, 1 C Healy.

Replacements: 16 S Cronin (Leinster), 17 D Kilcoyne (Munster), 18 D Fitzpatrick, (Ulster), 19 D O'Callaghan, (Munster), 20 C Henry (Ulster), 21 E Reddan (Leinster), 22 R O'Gara (Munster), 23 K Earls.

England: 15 A Goode, 14 C Ashton, 13 B Barritt, 12 B Twelvetrees, 11 M Brown; 10 O Farrell, 9 B Youngs, 8 T Wood, 7 C Robshaw (capt), 6 J Haskell, 5 G Parling, 4 J Launchbury, 3 D Cole, 2 T Youngs, 1 J Marler.

Replacements: 16 D Hartley, 17 D Wilson, 18 M Vunipola, 19 C Lawes, 20 T Waldrom, 21 D Care, 22 T Flood, 23 M Tuilagi.

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Today's Results
RBS Six Nations
Saturday 21st March
RBS Six Nations
England 55 - 35 France
Scotland 10 - 40 Ireland
Italy 20 - 61 Wales
Sunday 15th March
Italy 0 - 29 France
Saturday 14th March
England 25 - 13 Scotland
Wales 23 - 16 Ireland
Sunday 1st March
Ireland 19 - 9 England
Saturday 28th February
France 13 - 20 Wales
Scotland 19 - 22 Italy
Sunday 15th February
Scotland 23 - 26 Wales
Saturday 14th February
Ireland 18 - 11 France
England 47 - 17 Italy
Saturday 7th February
France 15 - 8 Scotland
Italy 3 - 26 Ireland
Friday 6th February
Wales 16 - 21 England

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Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

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