Ireland make one change for England in Six Nations

Ireland have named a team with one change for their crunch Six Nations Championship match against England at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday.

England and Ireland are the only remaining unbeaten teams in this year’s tournament and last year Ireland beat England to the title on points difference.

The match has the potential to be a title decider if not a Grand Slam decider.

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has replaced the injured Jamie Heaslip with Jordi Murphy who played in the opening victory over Italy.

Heaslip suffered three fractured vertebrae when he was kneed in the back by lock Pascal Pape in Ireland’s 18-11 win over France two weeks ago.

It is only the third time in eight Six Nations campaigns that an Ireland side has lined up without British and Irish Lion star Heaslip and comes at an inopportune moment as they face the only other side to have won both their opening two games.

The other changes to the matchday 23 comes on the replacements bench with scrum-half Eoin Reddan replacing Isaac Boss and flanker Tommy O’Donnell — a try scorer against Italy but omitted for the France game — slipping into the vacancy left by Murphy’s promotion.

Ireland’s sole loss under coach Joe Schmidt in his first Six Nations campaign last year came at the hands of England, who have won their last four meetings with the Irish, and won on nine of their last 13 visits to Dublin.

Ireland will be captained by iconic lock Paul O’Connell, who will be winning his 99th Irish cap, and he will be hoping to lead the hosts to a 10th successive test match win, equalling the national record set back in 2002/03 and ended by England in a winner takes all Grand Slam match in Dublin.


Rob Kearney; Tommy Bowe, Jared Payne, Robbie Henshaw, Simon Zebo; Jonathan Sexton, Conor Murray; Jordi Murphy Sean O’Brien, Peter O’Mahony; Paul O’Connell (capt), Devin Toner; Mike Ross, Rory Best, Jack McGrath

Replacements: Sean Cronin, Cian Healy, Martin Moore, Iain Henderson, Tommy O’Donnell, Eoin Reddan, Ian Madigan, Felix Jones

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