The excitement is building ahead of Ireland’s encounter with England in the GUINNESS Summer Series at the Aviva Stadium. You can keep up-to-date with today’s game via our O2 MatchDay Live service right here on IrishRugby.ie.
Standing in for Brian O’Driscoll, lock Paul O’Connell will captain Ireland for the fifth time when they take on the reigning Six Nations champions England today.
There are seven changes in personnel to the Ireland team that lost to France last time out, with Geordan Murphy, Tommy Bowe, Jerry Flannery, Stephen Ferris and David Wallace all coming in for their first starts of the campaign.
Murphy will be winning his 70th cap at full-back, while winger Bowe and hooker Flannery are set for their 40th appearances for Ireland at Test level.
With the Irish squad and management departing for the Rugby World Cup on Tuesday, they will be very keen to give themselves a winning lead-in to the tournament.
Ireland have an excellent recent record against arch rivals England, posting seven wins in the sides’ last eight meetings. They ran out 24-8 winners when Martin Johnson’s men visited the Aviva Stadium for the first time last March.
Ahead of his 33rd Test match with Ireland, head coach Declan Kidney said: “I’m disappointed we’ve lost the last three matches but I know we can get ourselves right.
“We decided to have four warm-up internationals (heading into New Zealand) because in the past it’s taken us a while to get into our stride.
“I believe we’ll get into our stride now, but there are a few bits of the jigsaw that must come together and that’s what we’re trying to achieve.”
We will have live text commentary direct from the Aviva Stadium. Plug in the laptop or turn on the PC and enjoy a flavour of this evening’s match live on IrishRugby.ie with thanks to O2 – sponsors of MatchDay Live.
There will be full live text and score updates throughout the coverage as Ireland look to beat England at home for the second time in five months.
There is live TV coverage on Sky Sports 2, and match highlights will be shown later in the day on RTÉ Two and BBC Two.
Starting at 2pm with our pre-match build-up (the game kicks off at 2.30pm), you can feel part of the action on IrishRugby.ie with MatchDay Live.
Look out for the MatchDay Live button in the Ireland section or simply click on the link below:
* The IRFU will be donating its match programme proceeds at today’s game to Irish charity GOAL to help support their efforts in the drought and famine-stricken Horn Of Africa, so if you are going to the Aviva Stadium please buy a programme and contribute to this most worthy cause.