England team to play Ireland on Saturday

Martin Johnson has announced the team that will take on Ireland at Twickenham this weekend in Round 3 of the RBS Six Nations.

There are no changes to the starting side, but Joe Worsley comes into the squad in place of Steffon Armitage, Lee Mears replaces Steve Thompson and Ben Foden is also added to the bench in place of Matt Mullan.

15 Delon Armitage (London Irish)
14 Mark Cueto (Sale Sharks)
13 Mathew Tait (Sale Sharks)
12 Riki Flutey (CA Brive)
11 Ugo Monye (Harlequins)
10 Jonny Wilkinson (RC Toulon)
9 Danny Care (Harlequins)
1 Tim Payne (London Wasps)
2 Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints)
3 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
4 Simon Shaw (London Wasps)
5 Steve Borthwick (Saracens, captain)
6 James Haskell (Stade Francais)
7 Lewis Moody (Leicester Tigers)
8 Nick Easter (Harlequins)

16 Lee Mears (Bath Rugby)
17 David Wilson (Bath Rugby)
18 Louis Deacon (Leicester Tigers)
19 Joe Worsley (London Wasps)
20 Paul Hodgson (London Irish)
21 Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers)
22 Ben Foden (Northampton Saints)

14 thoughts on “England team to play Ireland on Saturday

  1. Well no real surpirses there, great that Foden in on the bench. Glad to see that my worst fears of Johnson bringing in Worsley and Noon didn’t materialise and on paper when playing on form this is actually a pretty useful 22 all now depends on whether they can have the guts and the lisence to play freely! Still have hope as unfounded as it is it’s still there!

  2. Likewise…optimism still as bright as always. It is a good squad on paper, although I would have liked to have seen Lawes on the bench.

    And Worsley for Armitage on the bench…what’s the point? Great to see Foden involved…please Johnno, give him some game time.

  3. Can someone please explain to me why both Deacon and Worsley are in the squad.

    No problem with starting line up – though would rather not see Payne in there – and i’m glad foden is on the bench. But will he actually get any game time?

  4. No it doesn’t look a bad side on paper but it did look a bad side on a rugby pitch last time out.

    The fact they didn’t feel the need to change after Rome says it all about the England coaches, but at least their selection is consistent with the crap they came out with about our performance in Rome.

    Still, I’m as upbeat as I can be at the news of Worsley’s return, and like everyone on here I hope Foden gets some proper game time and not just the last 3 minutes with the game already lost.

  5. I’m pleased about the team for a couple of reasons:

    Foden is on the bench – Finally. Let’s hope he gets some game time.

    Shaw and Payne will start and Worsley is on the bench – Excellent news for Leeds who play Wasps on Sunday.


  6. It has come to something hasn’t it when a young player like Foden is at our disposal, and we’re all on here posting that we’re pleased – because he’s on the bloody bench!

    It would be bad enough if we were a great team with class in every position and competition for places.

  7. Martin Johnson…..look at how positive Ireland’s selection is at fly-half. Opting for a young and exciting talent in Sexton away from home at Twickenham in such a key game should be applauded by all. He’s inexperienced, but he’s the future for Ireland and will grow hugely from the experience.

    When would Martin Johnson ever have the confidence to drop Johnny Wilkinson for a similar young talent away at Croke Park, he won’t even do it when we’re playing at home!

  8. The side was/is fine. Good quick back players providing excellent options in attack. Some brutish types (and Borthwick) in the pack. Perhaps some guile needed but England lack for little else. The problem against Italy was twofold; the game-plan stunk worse than the blocked drain outside my house and Jonny missed most of his kicks, leaving Italy too close at the end to avoid collective bum squeaking from the English fans. My argument is, pick a side and play to its strengths, not to the opposition’s as happened against Italy (the Jonny thing could happen to anyone). This appears to be the problem with England at the moment but is relatively easily rectified. Hence my never-ending brightside style optimistic outlook for Saturday and about English rugby generally.

    That being said I agree with Tommy (comment 3). Its never a good sign when you’ve got a recurring Payne in your side (I’ll get my coat…)

  9. Just want to raise a possible debate.

    Jonny seems to be getting a lot of stick at the mo – mainly from supporters. Now, lets look at the facts. Granted he hasn’t had the best of come backs, but then he has been out for basically 6/7 years! Thats a long time for any athlete, let alone a pro. We have always known he has never been, nor will be, the most exciting attacking 10 in the world, but yet i remember (on this very blog, about 12 months ago) everyone wishing for Jonny’s return. Well he’s returned and yet everyone seems to be on his case. In all honesty, he hasn’t actually done anything wrong since his return (albiet missing a few kicks in the Italy game), and granted he hasn’t attacked the game line as much as we’d all like to see, but like i said, we all know thats the kind of game he plays. It does seem to strange to me though that he is kicking everything away, everytime he gets the ball (possible game plan?), but then all our players seems to be doing the same (again, possible game plan?). Yet again, we seem to be back into the mentality of “if i try something, and it doesn’t work, i’ll be dropped” attititude. In the AI’s, Jonny saved us countless of times from Aus/Arg/NZ scoring a ton of tries because he read the game well enough to know to drop back, but as a result he was rarely where he actually should have been. Is that his fault? Or poor management selection and/or, team memebers not pulling their weight? In the 6N’s so far, he seems to be kicking at every opportunity (as previously mentioned), which even for Jonny, is unusually.

    Now apart from Cip (who is inconsistent, though definitely the future – i hope), who else could could honestly fill the 10 slot. Flood – again, inconsistent and weak in defence. Geraghty – sorry, but he looked weak in the AI’s (albiet in the 12 slot) and is also very weak in defence – my mum could probably run though him. In my opinion, we have no one else of a consistent ability to fill the slot, and so maybe shouldn’t criticise as much as we have been. That said, I would love to see us pick cip to start with, with wilko on the bench (in case cip is having one of his “off days”) or vis versa (cip on bench.

    Please feel free to comment

  10. Interesting points, Tommy. I actually think the majority of people are supportive of Jonny – yes, he has taken some criticism since the Italy game, but not many people are calling for him to dropped, from what I’ve seen and read.

    I would certainly rather have Jonny in the team than not, even with Cipriani in contention. His goal-kicking is usually spot on, and for the type of game that England seem to play (dull, territorial, take the points), you wouldn’t want anyone else.

    I’ve also said a few times that the problem stems from a lack of quick ball, and that’s not Jonny’s fault. If the forwards can provide that, he’ll have so many more options at 10.

    Jonny needs others around him to pick up their game, and then he’ll be able to play more effectively himself.

  11. Quick ball is definitely an issue for us. When we get it, we actually look quite dangerous on the attack. However, it almost seems like the game plan is to slow everything down, and not play exciting and expansive rugby in case we make mistakes, allowing other teams to benefit

  12. Yes, exactly. The favourite move is for Care to wait until he has three forwards standing still 2 metres away, then wait another 10 seconds, then give them the ball and set up a ruck a metre behind the gainline. We sucked in 2 defenders, which is great news – it’s just a shame that we committed three attackers to do so.

Comments are closed.