15. Ben Foden – 5
Tested and trialled to the limits by both the weather and the Irish defence, this was not the exciting Ben Foden we’ve come used to seeing. Must improve.
14. Chris Ashton – 6
His first run-out of the summer, England’s most precious asset didn’t live up the hype but worked hard, getting sin-binned in the process.
13. Manu Tuilagi – 8
His place is cemented. Lovely running in attack, a great try early on and break late in the first half, and combined well with Tindall in defence, notably on D’Arcy for a turnover. What a talent.
12. Mike Tindall (c) – 8
Looked at home, lovely kick through for Armitage’s try and lead by example in defence. An interesting option in the inside centre slot.
11. Mark Cueto – 5
Short-lived appearance due to injury after pulling up following going for an interception. Armitage filled his boots well.
10. Jonny Wilkinson – 6
Unusually erratic with the boot in open play, he did not look very street-smart feeding the blunt Irish attack. A scrappy drop goal attempt didn’t inspire confidence.
9. Richard Wigglesworth – 6
If Simpson and Youngs bring flair and pace to the 9 shirt, then Wiggy is the rock. Controlled kicking and passing game, he’s reliable, but that won’t win you a World Cup.
1. Andrew Sheridan – 8
Superb return to the fold marked by a crunching barge on Ferris in the opening minutes. His place was under threat from Corbisiero and he responded. When fit, still one of the best.
2. Steve Thompson – 7
Loves a scuffle Thommo, and seemed to relish the physicality of Flannery and the Irish pack. Has edged ahead of Hartley.
3.. Dan Cole – 7
Great again in the scrum, his appearance and technique far belie his age. Emerging as one of the best in the world in his position.
4. Louis Deacon – 6
Solid from Johnson and Wells favourite workhorse. Plenty of defensive grunt, he is there to be unflashy and do the dirty work.
5. Courtney Lawes – 5
Looked rusty, the error with a two-man overlap will be something he attempts to forget. Still an automatic starter?
6. Tom Croft – 7
Dynamic at the set piece and a menace in the loose, one of England’s key men and first names on the team sheet.
7. Hendre Fourie – 7
A bustling, bruising, brilliant 21 minutes before he had to be taken off with injury. His early charge had Ireland back-pedalling in the build-up to the try.
8. James Haskell – 7
Huge running from the Hask, no one will work harder. Just don’t tell him he played well.
Delon Armitage had the longest run-out, and took his try well whilst looking threatening on the left wing. Stevens looked good in the loose, while Flood was not given enough time in the centre to really impress.