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O2 MatchDay Live: England v Ireland

O2 MatchDay Live: England v Ireland

Silverware may not be on the line for Ireland, but Declan Kidney’s men are hugely determined to finish their Championship campaign with a final win over England at Twickenham. You can keep up-to-date with this evening’s game via our O2 MatchDay Live service right here on IrishRugby.ie.

O2 MatchDay Live – Click Here

Flanker Sean O’Brien returns to the Ireland starting line-up after missing last weekend’s win over Scotland due to a skin infection on his foot.

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O’Brien’s inclusion at openside sees Peter O’Mahony drop back down to the replacements bench having started against the Scots in O’Brien’s absence.

Keith Earls and Cian Healy, both graduates of the 2007 Ireland Under-20 Grand Slam-winning side, will both be making their 30th Test appearances for Ireland this evening.

It will be cap number 85 for lock Donncha O’Callaghan, equalling the mark set by his long-term second row partner Paul O’Connell who is currently sidelined with a knee injury.

Rory Best, who is Ireland’s captain in the absence of the injured Brian O’Driscoll and O’Connell, will become Ireland’s most-capped hooker today beating the record set by Keith Wood (58 caps).

Meanwhile, England have also made one change in personnel following their victory away to France last time out.

David Strettle returns to the wing in place of Charlie Sharples. There is one alteration on the bench too, with Lee Mears coming in for Rob Webber.

With 38 caps to his name, hooker Dylan Hartley is England’s most experienced player in their team. He made his Championship debut against Italy three years ago.

Jonathan Sexton (47 points) needs just three more points to break the half century barrier in points scored during this year’s Six Nations. England’s Owen Farrell (43) trail Welsh full-back Leigh Halfpenny, who has amassed 55 points over the course of the Championship.

Sexton’s Leinster colleague Gordon D’Arcy has an unblemished Six Nations record against England. He has never experienced a Championship defeat to England, despite making his debut in the competition against France back in 2004.

Tommy Bowe, with five tries in 2012 so far, needs just one more try to equal the Six Nations try-scoring record in an individual season jointly held by Will Greenwood (2001), Shane Williams (2008) and Chris Ashton (2011).

Ireland are chasing a top three finish in the Six Nations for the 12th time in 13 seasons. Since 2004, Ireland have only lost one Championship game to England – the 2008 clash between the sides at Twickenham which saw the hosts win 33-10.

Today’s encounter marks only the third time that Ireland Ireland played on St. Patrick’s Day since the beginning of the Championship in 1883. They beat Italy 51-24 in Rome in their most recent game on the national holiday in 2007, but were beaten 3-0 by Wales on March 17, 1900.

We will have live text commentary direct from Twickenham as the Best-captained team look to record Ireland’s 47th triumph in 126 Test meetings with England.

Plug in your laptop or turn on the PC and enjoy a flavour of today’s match live on IrishRugby.ie. There will be full live text and score updates throughout the coverage, with the game kicking off at 5pm.

You can watch live TV coverage of the match on RTÉ Two and BBC One. There will be highlights later on Setanta Sports Ireland.

Michael Corcoran will also be providing live commentary of the game on RTÉ Radio 1, with their coverage beginning shortly before kick-off.

Starting at 4.30pm with our pre-match build-up, 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:

O2 MatchDay Live – Click Here

Support Ireland on www.irishrugby.ie/facebook or search #EngIrl on www.twitter.com/irfurugby.