The England squad for the showdown in Ireland has been announced. It remains largely the same as previous games with a couple of changes.
Billy is back.
Billy Vunipola takes the 8 shirt back from Nathan Hughes after an appearance off the bench against Scotland where he managed to score a try. Nathan Hughes has really grown into the role of 8 in the England squad over the 6 Nations, despite criticism which he was bound to get for not being Billy. Billy comes in and will surely make his impact felt upon the Irish with some huge carries. However, CJ Stander and co. will be sure to put some huge hits on the English 8 to try and stifle the yards we saw the younger Vunipola was capable of making last year.
Watson in for Nowell
Watson has earned a start on the wing. His quick feet, silky lines, and blistering pace will definitely come in handy for England as they look to claim a consecutive grand slam at the Aviva (if you doubt his pace just look at the video below). Nowell has been a great player and his work rate is immense; the fact that he is starting on the bench is a testament to the strength in depth.
Marler retains place over Mako
Marler’s scrummaging takes precedence over Mako’s ability in the loose this week. Marler has been a defensive rock and his set piece has been solid, these are both areas that will be needed to overcome the might of the Irish. Mako will bring quality ball carrying off the bench to help in the final 20.
Daly passes the return to play protocol
Daly is back in the starting line-up after being subbed off early last week due to a broken nose after passing his head injury assessment. Daly brings pace, composure, a great outside step, and a huge left boot to the game against Ireland.