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Sam Simmonds starts as England name team for Ireland

By PA
(Photo by Dan Mullan/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

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Eddie Jones has announced the England team that will host Ireland this Saturday at Twickenham in round four of the Guinness Six Nations.

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Alex Dombrandt has sufficiently recovered from coronavirus to secure a place on England’s bench for their pivotal Guinness Six Nations clash with Ireland at Twickenham on Saturday.

Dombrandt’s inclusion was pending a successful run-out in Thursday’s training session and while removed from the starting XV that defeated Wales, he is able to provide number eight cover from the bench.

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Sam Simmonds starts in his place and England have also been lifted by the presence of Tom Curry, who has passed the return to play protocols form concussion to continue at openside.

In the second and final change Joe Marchant is preferred ahead of Elliot Daly at outside centre, where he will partner Henry Slade in midfield.

Joe Launchbury is poised to make his first England appearance since December 2020 after completing his recovery from a serious knee injury to win a spot as second row cover on the bench.

Harry Randall retains the number nine jersey ahead of Ben Youngs, with Marcus Smith outside him at flyhalf.

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Wasps back row Alfie Barbeary, Leicester second row Ollie Chessum and prop Joe Heyes were the three players from the previous 26-man squad that didn’t make the cut for the matchday 23.

Jones said: “We’ve been looking at this game as a semi-final. Ireland are the most cohesive side in the world right now and it will be a good test this weekend.

“We’ve prepared really well for this game. We did some good team togetherness work in Bristol and had a solid week of training on the pitch here.

“We are looking forward to going after them in front of a great home crowd at Twickenham. It’s been special having 82,000 supporters back in for our Six Nations games and it will be a great Test match for them.”

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Related

ENGLAND XV
15. Freddie Steward
14. Max Malins
13. Joe Marchant
12. Henry Slade
11. Jack Nowell
10. Marcus Smith
9. Harry Randall
1. Ellis Genge
2. Jamie George
3. Kyle Sinckler
4. Maro Itoje
5. Charlie Ewels
6. Courtney Lawes (C)
7. Tom Curry
8. Sam Simmonds

REPLACEMENTS:
16. Jamie Blamire
17. Joe Marler
18. Will Stuart
19. Joe Launchbury
20. Alex Dombrandt
21. Ben Youngs
22. George Ford
23. Elliot Daly

IRELAND TEAM: H Keenan (Leinster), A Conway (Munster), G Ringrose (Leinster), B Aki (Connacht), J Lowe (Leinster); J Sexton (Leinster, capt), J Gibson-Park (Leinster); C Healy (Leinster), D Sheehan (Leinster), T Furlong (Leinster), T Beirne (Munster), J Ryan (Leinster), P O’Mahony (Munster), J Van Der Flier (Leinster), C Doris (Leinster).

REPLACEMENTS: R Herring (Ulster), D Kilcoyne (Munster), F Bealham (Connacht), I Henderson (Ulster), J Conan (Leinster), C Murray (Munster), J Carbery (Munster), R Henshaw (Leinster).

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