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England Make Six Changes

England Make Six Changes

England team manager Martin Johnson has made six changes in personnel for his side’s final Rugby World Cup warm-up match against Ireland on Saturday afternoon.

Chris Ashton, Manu Tuilagi and Jonny Wilkinson, England’s record points scorer, will start in the back-line, while Andrew Sheridan, Tom Croft and James Haskell have been promoted in the forwards.

Mike Tindall, who leads the side, will win his 72nd cap and draws level with Will Carling as England’s most-capped centre.

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At the other end of his international career is Joe Simpson, the London Wasps scrum half who will win his first cap if he appears as a replacement.

The selected team contains just seven players who started last March’s RBS 6 Nations encounter with Ireland, including Dan Cole, Louise Deacon, Haskell and Nick Easter in the pack.

England lost that game 24-8 and have since played back-to-back matches against Wales, picking up a 23-19 win at Twickenham before losing 19-9 in the return fixture at the Millennium Stadium.

Commenting on this Saturday’s clash, England team manager Martin Johnson said: “We expect a hugely competitive game in Dublin and it gives us the ideal run out before we depart for the World Cup.

“These warm-up fixtures have been valuable in terms of our preparation for the World Cup, giving players game-time together.

“We are pleased to see Andrew Sheridan back in the mix after working hard to get back to full fitness and he, along with Chris Ashton, will his first start since meeting up in camp.

“Mike Tindall captains the side and, as he reaches another milestone in the game, he further demonstrates the level of quality and experience he brings to the side as a player and leader.”

The GUINNESS Summer Series tie will be broadcast live on Sky Sports 2, and there will be highlights later in the day on both RTÉ Two and BBC Two.

ENGLAND Team & Replacements (v Ireland, GUINNESS Summer Series, Aviva Stadium, Saturday, August 27, kick-off 2.30pm):

15 – Ben Foden (Northampton Saints)
14 – Chris Ashton (Northampton Saints)
13 – Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)
12 – Mike Tindall (London Irish) (capt)
11 – Mark Cueto (Sale Sharks)
10 – Jonny Wilkinson (Toulon)
9 – Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens)
1 – Andrew Sheridan (Sale Sharks)
2 – Steve Thompson (London Wasps)
3 – Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
4 – Louis Deacon (Leicester Tigers)
5 – Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
6 – Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers)
7 – James Haskell (Black Rams)
8 – Nick Easter (Harlequins)


16 – Dylan Hartley (Bath)
17 – Matt Stevens (Saracens)
18 – Simon Shaw (Unattached)
19 – Tom Wood (Northampton Saints)
20 – Joe Simpson (London Wasps)
21 – Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers)
22 – Delon Armitage (London Irish)