David Strettle returns to England team to face Ireland

David Strettle
David Strettle

England have made one change to the starting XV for Saturday's Six Nations match against Ireland at Twickenham.

Winger David Strettle, who was forced to withdraw from the team to play France last week with a chest injury, returns in place of Charlie Sharples.

Interim boss Stuart Lancaster makes one change on the bench, with Lee Mears replacing injured hooker Rob Webber.

"Lee Mears will bring great energy and experience should he get a chance to come on," Lancaster said.

Phil Dowson also makes the bench, having recovered from being knocked unconscious in the closing stages of England's 24-22 victory over France.

England head into the final weekend of the Six Nations with an outside chance of winning the title.

They must defeat the Irish on Saturday, hope that France beat Wales, and overturn a points difference of 38 to win the championship.

Under Lancaster, England have won three away Six Nations matches for the first time in their history, while their only defeat was the 19-12 home reverse to Wales.

Lancaster will not find out until after the Six Nations whether he will be appointed head coach on a permanent basis, but said he is proud of the strides his England side have made during the tournament.

"It seems like yesterday when we got together in Leeds in January and began a new journey for England rugby," he said.

"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."

England: 15-Ben Foden, 14-Chris Ashton, 13-Manu Tuilagi, 12-Brad Barritt, 11-David Strettle; 10-Owen Farrell, 9-Lee Dickson; 1-Alex Corbisiero, 2-Dylan Hartley, 3-Dan Cole, 4-Mouritz Botha, 5-Geoff Parling, 6-Tom Croft, 7-Chris Robshaw, 8-Ben Morgan

Replacements: 16-Lee Mears 17-Matt Stevens, 18-Tom Palmer, 19-Phil Dowson, 20-Ben Youngs, 21-Charlie Hodgson, 22-Mike Brown

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