Stringer Still A Doubt
20th February 2007 By Munster Rugby
As expected Brian O’Driscoll returns to the Ireland starting XV but there is still doubt over Peter Stringer.
Stringer has not trained this week, still hampered by that hand injury and a final decision will not be made until later in the week. If Stringer is rued out then Isaac Boss will start and Eoin Reddan will take his place on the bench.
Shane Horgan moves back to the wing and Geordan Murphy drops out of the 22 with Andrew Trimble who replaced Murphy against France preferred for the bench.
Ireland: G Dempsey; S Horgan, B O’Driscoll capt, G D’Arcy, D Hickie; R O’Gara, AN Other; M Horan, R Best, J Hayes; D O’Callaghan, P O’Connell; S Easterby, D Wallace, D Leamy.
Replacements: J Flannery, S Best, M O’Driscoll, N Best, I Boss or E Reddan, P Wallace, A Trimble.
Meanwhile, England boss Brian Ashton looks to have gotten his internationals back from Premiership duties at the weekend relatively unscathed. Ashton named his side to play Ireland early hoping that a request to the clubs not to play those selected would be excused from the battering that is the Premiership.
Despite that request however, backed by Rugby Football Union elite rugby director Rob Andrew, six players – Olly Morgan, Josh Lewsey, Jason Robinson, Andy Farrell, Danny Grewcock and Magnus Lund – started for their clubs as did replacements on Saturday Toby Flood and Mathew Tait.
Flanker Joe Worsley was due to have started in Wasps’ 26-18 victory over Sale Sharks, although he ended up on bench duty and did not feature.