Strettle Back for England

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Earls, Ferris and Healy will be looking to break down the impressive English defence on Saturday. (c) Nigel Snell.

Stuart Lancaster and his management team have made just one change to the English side to face Ireland on Saturday at 5 p.m. David Strettle has recovered from the sternum injury that kept him out of England’s superb 24-22 win in Paris last weekend. Charlie Sharples, who had a nervy debut including a yellow card, drops out of the match day squad.

Much has been made of how this English team have slowly developed over the course of their 4 Six Nations matches under Stuart Lancaster. After two really poor displays against Scotland and Italy (albeit winning both), England were vastly improved versus Wales and France. They are now playing with more confidence, although talk of Lancaster instilling free-flowing, attacking rugby into the side is slightly wide of the mark.

However, their increased confidence and a full house at Twickenham may encourage the likes of Dickson, Farrell and Foden to kick away less of their possession. The English defence has been very impressive, conceding just 4 tries. Only the Welsh have conceded less (3). Last weekend, France struggled to break the English line, but they too choose to kick away a lot of good ball.

With the most potent attack in the Six Nations so far, Ireland should ask a lot more questions of the English defence. Key men for England will be No.8 Ben Morgan, outhalf Owen Farrell and outside centre Manu Tuilagi.

England team to face Ireland:

15. Ben Foden (Northampton)

14. Chris Ashton (Northampton)

13. Manu Tuilagi (Leicester)

12. Brad Barritt (Saracens)

11. David Strettle (Saracens)

10. Owen Farrell (Saracens)

9. Lee Dickson (Northampton)

1. Alex Corbisiero (London Irish)

2. Dylan Hartley (Northampton)

3. Dan Cole (Leicester)

4. Mouritz Botha (Saracens)

5. Geoff Parling (Leicester)

6. Tom Croft (Leicester)

7. Chris Robshaw (Harlequins)

8. Ben Morgan (Scarlets)

Subs:

16. Lee Mears (Bath) 17. Matt Stevens (Saracens) 18. Tom Palmer (Stade Francais) 19. Phil Dowson (Northampton) 20. Ben Youngs (Leicester) 21. Charlie Hodgson (Saracens) 22. Mike Brown (Harlequins).

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Photo courtesy:  Nigel Snell.

One response to “Strettle Back for England

  1. Ferris or Heaslip play rush defence on Farrell, game over.

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