David Strettle has recovered from a sternum injury to reclaim his place on the wing, in England’s only change to the starting XV who will take on Ireland on Saturday. Charlie Sharples, who stepped into Strettle’s left wing berth against France last week, drops out of the 22.
Wasps hooker Rob Webber suffered a shoulder injury during the Paris victory, and he is replaced by Lee Mears on the bench.
England head coach Stuart Lancaster said: “It seems like yesterday when we got together in Leeds in January and began a new journey for England rugby. Graham (Rowntree), Andy (Farrell) and myself firmly believe in this group of players and the direction we are going. Saturday is another step on that road and we are looking forward to coming home to a packed Twickenham with its special atmosphere and crowd. Their support has been phenomenal and we hope we can do the whole nation proud again.
“David Strettle has now recovered from his injury and will replace Charlie Sharples, who gained valuable experience in Paris. It’s good to have Lee Mears on the bench and he will bring great energy and experience should he get a chance to come on.”
England (v Ireland, Twickenham, Saturday, 17 March, 5pm): Ben Foden; Chris Ashton, Manusamoa Tuilagi, Brad Barritt, David Strettle; Owen Farrell, Lee Dickson; Alex Corbisiero, Dylan Hartley, Dan Cole, Mouritz Botha, Geoff Parling, Tom Croft, Chris Robshaw (capt), Ben Morgan. Reps: Lee Mears, Matt Stevens, Tom Palmer, Phil Dowson, Ben Youngs, Charlie Hodgson, Mike Brown.Like Rugby World? Subscribe to the magazine for the latest comprehensive content.