Ireland expected to make only one change for Triple Crown decider
Victory for Ireland at the weekend would be their 50th in Test matches against England.
This Sunday sees Andy Farrell bring his Ireland team to England as head coach for the first time. Farrell has started off with 2020 Guinness Six Nations wins over Wales and Scotland, teeing up a Triple Crown decider against his homeland at the weekend.
Ireland released 13 members of their Six Nations squad back to their respective provinces for the weekend's Guinness PRO14 action, with the likes of Luke McGrath, Stuart McCloskey, Andrew Porter, Dave Heffernan and Ronan Kelleher all faring well. Only Kelleher, out of that quintet, is likely to make Farrell's 23-man squad when it is announced on Wednesday afternoon.
Another try for Ronan Kelleher this season and Leinster on course for another big win pic.twitter.com/VKv44TErED
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) February 15, 2020
The IRFU will announce an extended squad on Monday afternoon but Farrell will be sticking with the bulk of the match-day squads that have seen off Scotland and Wales in the opening championship games.
The only real areas of contention are the front and back rows. Dave Kilcoyne is pushing Cian Healy hard for the starting loosehead role while Caelan Doris is expected to return to the squad. Doris got the No.8 jersey for the win over Scotland and made an early turnover but concussion cut his match short.
Peter O'Mahony replaced Doris in that game, with CJ Stander shifting from blindside to No.8. Both men have performed extremely well, as has openside Josh van der Flier, so Farrell will keep faith in them with Doris set to take his place on the bench instead of Max Deegan.
Should Farrell go with that expected match-day squad [listed below], 14 of the 23 will have the chance to make up for their roles in last August's 57-15 World Cup warm-up pummelling by the English at Twickenham.
On a brighter note, Ireland won their last competitive outing at Twickenham in 2018 to secure the Grand Slam. 10 of the starting XV that day are set to go from the off against Eddie Jones' men this Sunday, including try-scorers Jacob Stockdale and CJ Stander.
Expected Ireland team to face England
15. Jordan Larmour
14. Andrew Conway
13. Robbie Henshaw
12. Bundee Aki
11. Jacob Stockdale
10. Johnny Sexton
9. Conor Murray
1. Cian Healy
2. Rob Herring
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. James Ryan
5. Iain Henderson
6. Peter O'Mahony
7. Josh van der Flier
8. CJ Stander
Replacements: Kelleher, Kilcoyne, Porter, Toner, Doris, Cooney, Byrne, Earls.
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Barry Murphy and Andrew Trimble are joined in the House of Rugby studio by Jerry Flannery as they look back on a trio of Irish victories over Wales. They also discuss Keith Earls, 'Bottle Gate' at Murrayfield and Trimby has to call up Ulster Rugby for a job.