Ireland unchanged for England clash
Updated: Saturday, 09 Feb 2013 11:11
Ireland have named an unchanged starting XV for Sunday's RBS 6 Nations clash with England at the Aviva Stadium after centre Gordon D'Arcy and flanker Peter O'Mahony were passed fit.
D'Arcy has recovered from the dead leg he sustained in last weekend's 30-22 victory over Wales, while O'Mahony has been given the all-clear after suffering concussion in the same match.
An attritional championship opener at the Millennium Stadium also saw centre Brian O'Driscoll, flanker Sean O'Brien, full-back Rob Kearney and prop Mike Ross suffer knocks that have cleared up during the week.
Substitute centre Keith Earls takes his place on an unchanged replacements bench after damaging his shoulder against Wales.
Ireland team to play England, Aviva Stadium, Sunday 3pm: Kearney, Gilroy, O’Driscoll, D’Arcy, Zebo, Sexton, Murray, Healy, Best, Ross, Ryan, McCarthy, O’Mahony, O’Brien, Heaslip (capt).
Replacements: Cronin, Kilcoyne, Fitzpatrick, O'Callaghan, Henry, Reddan, O'Gara, Earls.
"The players have recovered pretty well from the Wales game" - Declan Kidney
"The players have recovered pretty well from the Wales game. We took 48 hours off after the match and have toned down training since," said head coach Declan Kidney.
"Gordon, Peter and Sean all trained fully this morning so we don't envisage there being any changes."
Sunday's showdown at Lansdowne Road has been billed as an early title decider after France slumped to a shock defeat by Italy last weekend.
England's last Six Nations victory in Dublin was in 2003 when they won the Grand Slam, an achievement they only failed to repeat in 2011 when they were routed 24-8 in the Irish capital.
The tables were turned 12 months ago when Ireland were crushed 30-9 at Twickenham thanks to an early injury to tighthead Mike Ross that resulted in their scrum being taken apart.
Seven wins in nine championship meetings have seen the Irish dominate the fixture in recent times, but bookmakers are unable to split them with both teams valued at 10/11.
On the pitch there are several intriguing duels that will have ramifications for Lions selection this summer, among them Jonathan Sexton and Owen Farrell battling it out at fly-half.
Flashback: Ireland v England 2007 at Croke Park (full match)
Live RBS 6 Nations coverage on RTÉ Two from 2pm on Saturday 9 February and 2.15pm on Sunday 10 February (Ireland v England). Live streaming Ireland only.
Live radio coverage of Ireland v England on Sunday Sport on RTÉ Radio 1 from 2pm. Live streaming available worldwide.