Ireland coach Declan Kidney has shuffled the Irish team ahead of their clash against England in Dublin on Saturday. Jonny Sexton and Andrew Trimble return while Ronan O'Gara and Luke Fitzgerald have been benched for the final RBS Six National game.
When asked about Fitzgerald's exclusion Kidney said "If Luke has made any errors lately it’s probably because he’s tried too hard…He’s probably just been over stretching himself ever so slightly and his timing has been a small bit off and I think Andrew has been knocking on the door and Keith [Earls] is in good form so it’s a good combination for us to have this weekend."
As always Kidney was very diplomatic when asked about the Ulsterman got the nod ahead of Fergus McFadden.
He said "Andrew was showing great form coming up to the Six Nations, going really well for Ulster and got an unfortunate bang…Fergus was in great form, got called in, played a couple of A matches and played very well in those.
“Then Andrew worked his way back in through training, played Magners League matches and Fergus played very well in the first two but over the intervening period Andrew has worked his way back through matches with Ulster.”
He also spoke about Jonny Sexton's promotion at the expense of Ronan O'Gara. He said "We’re blessed with two good 10s, like I’ve always said. In the same way as I felt after the French game that it was right to give Ronan a go at the next two, I think Jonathon deserves his shot now.”
Ireland: Keith Earls, Tommy Bowe, Brian O’Driscoll, Gordon D’Arcy, Andrew Trimble, Jonathan Sexton, Eoin Reddan, Cian Healy, Rory Best, Mike Ross, Donncha O’Callaghan, Paul O’Connell, Sean O’Brien, David Wallace, Jamie Heaslip
Replacements: Sean Cronin, Tom Court, Leo Cullen, Denis Leamy, Peter Stringer, Ronan O’Gara, Paddy Wallace.
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