Ireland and England enjoyed winning starts to the 2013 RBS 6 Nations last weekend, so something must give in today’s crunch clash at the Aviva Stadium. You can keep up-to-date with this afternoon’s game via our O2 MatchDay Live service right here on IrishRugby.ie.
This afternoon’s match is the 117th Test between the two sides in the Championship. England have won 63 of those matches, losing 46 and drawing seven times.
Ireland are able to field an unchanged team and matchday squad with Gordon D’Arcy, Mike Ross, Peter O’Mahony and Keith Earls having recovered from the knocks they picked up in Cardiff.
James Haskell has been added to the England side at blindside flanker with Tom Wood moving to number 8 for the first time at Test level. Manu Tuilagi, who has recovered from an ankle injury, has bolstered the visitors’ bench options.
Since losing the 2003 Grand Slam decider at the old Lansdowne Road, Ireland have won their last four home Six Nations matches against England – including that epic 2007 victory at Croke Park.
England have only beaten Ireland four times in the last 20 years in Championship games in Dublin. The last time England beat Ireland was in 2003 when the visitors won the Grand Slam with a 42-6 triumph.
However, England have beaten their hosts at the Aviva Stadium before – they won 20-9 at the ground in a 2011 Rugby World Cup warm-up match.
This is the 50th time Brian O’Driscoll and Gordon D’Arcy have teamed up in the centre at Test level, while it is also Declan Kidney’s 50th international in charge of Ireland since November 2008. A victory today would be his 28th as head coach.
Meanwhile, Donncha O’Callaghan will win his 92nd cap for Ireland if he comes on as a replacement. In doing so, the Corkman would equal Malcolm O’Kelly’s record as Ireland’s most-capped second row.
We will have live text commentary direct from the Aviva Stadium, so plug in your laptop or turn on the PC and enjoy a flavour of the game live on IrishRugby.ie.
There will be full live text and score updates throughout the coverage, with our pre-match build-up getting underway at 2.30pm.
You can watch live TV coverage of the match on RTÉ Two and BBC One. Michael Corcoran will also be providing live commentary of the game on RTÉ Radio 1 (FM, DAB, LW 252 and RTÉ.ie), with their coverage beginning shortly before kick-off.
You can feel part of the action on IrishRugby.ie with MatchDay Live – today’s much-anticipated tie kicks off at 3pm.
Look out for the MatchDay Live button in the Ireland section or simply click on the link below: