Slade starts for England against Ireland

by Mark Stevens

Exeter Chiefs center Henry Slade keeps his place in an England squad showing four changes going into their final Guinness Six Nations Championship clash against Ireland on Saturday.

Slade will team up with the long-remembered Manu Tuilagi in the visitors’ midfield, while captain Owen Farrell, sidelined by last weekend’s heavy loss to France, also returns to the back division as a fly-half.

The other change in England’s rear division is head coach Steve Borthwick handing a first Test start to London Irish’s Henry Arundell at left wing, while in the group David Ribbans comes on the second row in place of the injured Ollie Chessum.

Leicester’s Dan Cole is in line to make his 100th appearance for England after being named as a replacement. Cole made his England debut in the Six Nations in February 2010 and went on to play in three Rugby World Cups and win three Guinness Six Nations titles.

Borthwick said: “We travel to Dublin to take on a team from Ireland on Saturday who have a chance to secure a Grand Slam Championship victory on home soil for the first time.

“We know that after the bitter disappointment of the exhibition against an exceptional team from France last week, we will have to improve a lot to meet the challenge of playing against the team currently ranked number one in the world.

“However, I have witnessed an England team determined to make amends for the defeat at Twickenham, and I am sure the team announced today will want to once again display the kind of resilience and attitude that victory in Wales brought us.”


15. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 21 caps)
14. Anthony Watson (Leicester Tigers, 54 caps)
13. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 55 caps)
12. Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks, 50 Capsules)
11. Henry Arundell (London Irish, 6 caps)
10. Owen Farrell (Saracens, captain, 105 caps)
9. Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers, 11 caps)
1. Ellis Genge (Bristol Bears, 47 caps)
2. Jamie George (Saracens, 76 caps)
3. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 60 caps)
4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 66 caps)
5. David Ribbans (Northampton Saints, 4 games)
6. Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 18 games)
7. Jack Willis (Toulouse, 9 caps)
8. Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins, 13 caps)

16. Jack Walker (Harlequins, 3 caps)
17. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 78 caps)
18. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 99 caps)
19. Nick Isiekwe (Saracens, 10 caps)
20. Ben Curry (Sale Sharks, 4 eps)
21. Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints, 4 games)
22. Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 21 caps)
23. Joe Marchant (Harlequins, 14 caps)


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