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Keenan Returns As Ireland’s Only Change For Twickenham Test

Keenan Returns As Ireland’s Only Change For Twickenham Test

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell has made one change to the team for Saturday’s Guinness Men’s Six Nations encounter with England at Twickenham Stadium (kick-off 4.45pm – live on RTÉ 2 and ITV).

Hugo Keenan has recovered from the knee injury that saw him miss the Wales match, so he returns at full-back with Ciarán Frawley, one of the try scorers in that last game, reverting to the replacements bench.

Peter O’Mahony captains the team for their round 4 visit to London, where a win for Farrell’s side would see them set a new Championship record of 12 consecutive victories and put them within touching distance of the title.

There is a fourth successive start for Calvin Nash on the right wing, with Keenan and James Lowe also featuring in the back-three. Robbie Henshaw and Bundee Aki, try scorers against England last March and August respectively, continue their centre partnership.

Jack Crowley, the tournament’s third top points scorer so far with 33 points, and Jamison Gibson-Park are retained as the half-back pairing.

Tadhg Furlong wins his 75th cap at tighthead, packing down again with Andrew Porter and Dan Sheehan, who has scored five tries in last five Test appearances. Joe McCarthy and Tadhg Beirne complete the tight five.

Centurion O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier and Caelan Doris make up the starting back row, and for the third time in the current campaign, the Ireland coaching team have selected a six-two split on the replacements bench.

James Ryan will unfortunately miss the rest of the Championship due to a bicep injury sustained in training, so Iain Henderson joins Ronan Kelleher, Cian Healy, Finlay Bealham, Ryan Baird, and Jack Conan as the forward reinforcements.

A debutant back in 2009, Healy is poised to become the joint-second most capped Ireland player of all-time, alongside Ronan O’Gara (128 caps). Farrell’s back-line options are Conor Murray, another of the squad’s centurions, and the versatile Frawley.

IRELAND MEN’S Team & Replacements (v England, 2024 Guinness Men’s Six Nations Championship – Round 4, Twickenham Stadium, London, Saturday, March 9, Kick-Off 4.45pm):

Player/Club/Province/Caps –

15. Hugo Keenan (UCD/Leinster) 38
14. Calvin Nash (Young Munster/Munster) 4
13. Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Leinster) 70
12. Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht) 54
11. James Lowe (Leinster) 29
10. Jack Crowley (Cork Constitution/Munster) 12
9. Jamison Gibson-Park (Leinster) 33
1. Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster) 62
2. Dan Sheehan (Lansdowne/Leinster) 24
3. Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster) 74
4. Joe McCarthy (Dublin University/Leinster) 8
5. Tadhg Beirne (Lansdowne/Munster) 49
6. Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) (capt) 103
7. Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster) 60
8. Caelan Doris (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) 39


16. Ronan Kelleher (Lansdowne/Leinster) 29
17. Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 127
18. Finlay Bealham (Buccaneers/Connacht) 38
19. Iain Henderson (Academy/Ulster) 80
20. Ryan Baird (Dublin University/Leinster) 18
21. Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster) 44
22. Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 114
23. Ciarán Frawley (UCD/Leinster) 3