RORY BEST will become Ireland’s most capped hooker when he leads his nation out at Twickenham on Saturday. He will be making his 59th Test appearance, overhauling Keith Wood’s milestone of 58.
Ireland have made one change to the team which beat Scotland 32-14 last Saturday, bringing Sean O’Brien back on the openside now he has recovered from the skin infection which ruled him out. Peter O’Mahony drops to the bench, with head coach Declan Kidney saying: “Sean trained well this morning and we wouldn’t have selected him if he wasn’t ready. It’s tough on Peter because he played really well against Scotland.”
England are looking for their first win over Ireland at Twickenham since 2008 and the contest is likely to decide who finishes runner-up in this year’s RBS 6 Nations, assuming Wales take the title when they play France earlier in the afternoon.
Keith Earls and Cian Healy will both win their 30th Ireland caps on Saturday while Donncha O’Callaghan joins Paul O’Connell on 85.
England are due to name their team on Thursday afternoon.
Ireland (v England, Twickenham, Saturday, 17 March, 5pm): Rob Kearney; Tommy Bowe, Keith Earls, Gordon D’Arcy, Andrew Trimble; Jonathan Sexton, Eoin Reddan; Cian Healy, Rory Best (capt), Mike Ross, Donncha O’Callaghan, Donnacha Ryan, Stephen Ferris, Sean O’Brien, Jamie Heaslip. Reps: Sean Cronin, Tom Court, Mike McCarthy, Peter O’Mahony, Tomas O’Leary, Ronan O’Gara, Fergus McFadden.