Sport Six Nations

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Schmidt keeps faith with same starting XV side for England showdown at Twickenham

Jordi Murphy is the surprise inclusion in Joe Schmidt’s matchday 23 for Saturday’s Triple Crown decider against England

Ireland Head Coach Joe Schmidt
Ireland Head Coach Joe Schmidt
Jordi Murphy says Leinster can profit from the feelgood factor surrounding Ireland's Six Nations success so far
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

JORDI MURPHY is the surprise inclusion in Joe Schmidt’s matchday 23 for Saturday’s Triple Crown decider against England as the Ireland coach named an unchanged starting team for the Twickenham clash.

The Leinster back-row will replace Munster’s Tommy O’Donnell on the replacements bench in one of two changes to the squad as Iain Henderson comes in for his injured Ulster teammate Dan Tuohy as second row cover.

Otherwise it’s as you were for the New Zealander who has named the same team back-to-back for the first time as Ireland coach as Brian O’Driscoll has been cleared to play having missed training earlier this week with a bug.

Defence Les Kiss said earlier this week that he was unhappy with the contribution the bench made to the defensive effort and O’Donnell looks like being the victim of that. Schmidt also promised change in the aftermath of the win over Wales, but he has kept things to a minimum for the clash where a win would seal his first trophy as coach.

O’Driscoll’s final appearance at Twickenham will see him join George Gregan as the most capped rugby player of all time on 139 caps.

England have also kept changes to a minimum, with David Wilson coming in for the injured Dan Coles

IRELAND team to face England – Rob Kearney; Andrew Trimble, Brian O’Driscoll, Gordon D’Arcy, David Kearney; Jonathan Sexton, Conor Murray; Cian Healy, Rory Best, Mike Ross; Devin Toner, Paul O’Connell (capt); Peter O’Mahony, Chris Henry, Jamie Heaslip. Reps: Sean Cronin, Jack McGrath, Marty Moore, Iain Henderson, Jordi Murphy, Isaac Boss, Paddy Jackson, Fergus McFadden.

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