England’s Six Nations championship hopes will be on the line against Grand Slam-chasing Ireland on Sunday as the two sides meet at Twickenham, with the tournament set to reach its halfway point this weekend.
Eddie Jones has for the second game running made numerous changes for the Twickenham clash, with two enforced and two based on his attempt to negate the threats posed by Andy Farrell’s side. With Mako Vunipola absent due to family reasons, Joe Marler returns to a pack that also features Courtney Lawes, recalled at the expense of Lewis Ludlam at flanker.
The two other changes sees Ben Youngs replace Willi Heinz at scrum-half and Manu Tuilagi returning to the centre, forcing Jonathan Joseph to shift to the unusual position of wing and Elliot Daly back to full-back as George Furbank misses out.
Ireland meanwhile were forced into one late change on Friday afternoon after Iain Henderson’s wife gave birth to their son, ruling the Ulster lock out of the contest. As a result, Farrell has promoted Devin Toner to the starting XV, with Ulthan Dillane added to the bench, while Caelan Doris returns from injury to join him among the replacements.
Here’s everything you need to know about the match.
When is it?
England vs Ireland takes place on Sunday 23 February at Twickenham Stadium.
What time does it start?
The match kicks off at 3pm GMT.
Where can I watch it?
The match will be shown live on ITV from 2:10pm. Live coverage will also be shown online on the ITV Hub.
Highlights will be shown on BBC Two from 6pm.
England: Elliot Daly; Jonny May, Manu Tuilagi, Owen Farrell, Jonathan Joseph; George Ford, Ben Youngs; Joe Marler, Jamie George, Kyle Sinckler; Maro Itoje, George Kruis; Courtney Lawes, Sam Underhill, Tom Curry.
Replacements: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Ellis Genge, Will Stuart, Joe Launchbury, Charlie Ewels, Ben Earl, Willi Heinz, Henry Slade.
Ireland: Jordan Larmour; Andrew Conway, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale; Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray; Cian Healy, Rob Herring, Tadhg Furlong; Devin Toner, James Ryan; Peter O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier, CJ Stander.
Replacements: Ronan Kelleher, Dave Kilcoyne, Andrew Porter, Ultan Dillane, Caelan Doris, John Cooney, Ross Byrne, Keith Earls.
England to win: 4/9
Ireland to win: 5/2
England 22-17 Ireland: There haven’t been many one-sided results so far this tournament and, with bad weather predicted once again this weekend, expect more of the same. The Twickenham factor should prove beneficial to England given what they did to Ireland here last August, and with Manu Tuilagi and Henry Slade back, the hosts seem to have a confidence about them this week that they have lacked this championship.