Ireland coach Declan Kidney has handed a vote of confidence to his Italian masters as his side continues its Grand Slam pursuit in Saturday's mouth-watering Croke Park clash with England. The Irish boss has named the same side for the third game running as he looks to add to the wins against France and Italy on the opening two weekends of the season. Ulster's Paddy Wallace has overcome an horrific facial injury and will line-up alongside the rejuvenated Brian O'Driscoll at the heart of the Irish midfield. Gordon D'Arcy has to be content with a place on the bench, while Munster scrumhalf Tomas O'Leary has again held off the challenge of his provincial colleague Peter Stringer. The only change to the match day 22 sees Malcolm O'Kelly stand down from the replacements bench to make way for Munster lock Mick O'Driscoll. Kidney said, "We went through the whole team selection. The team are training so well and we took that into account. "The lads who came on as subs in the first two matches have put their hands up, as have the guys on Magners League duty at the weekend. "Second row is probably one of the most sought-after positions in the set-up. Mick had been going well prior to getting the shoulder injury and he played very well in the Magners League on the weekend, so I felt he deserved his chance. "I'm sure Malcolm will force his way back into the side." Competition within the Irish camp is now intense and Kidney is quite happy to have it that way. He added, "There are lots of guys I'd love to play, good players who aren't getting a chance to play. That's the making of a good side. "The players in the side know that if there's any relaxation at all there are guys ready to take their place. "In terms of developing the squad work has been done on that behind the scenes. Talk about competition for places is not just lip service. "Pressure is being applied from beneath and if you're worried about your place in the team then it spurs you on to play better." England, set to name their team on Wednesday, will relish the chance to avenge their 43-13 Croke Park humiliation two years ago and showed real signs of improvement in the recent defeat to Wales. Kidney has studied their Six Nations improvement under new manager Martin Johnson and is wary of the English threat. "England's performance in the last match against the Welsh was well up on the week before against Italy," said Kidney. "I suppose that the other thing that concerns me is the quality of the people in the background. I've worked with Mike Ford before and my respect for Martin Johnson is huge. "What's also important is that they've had two free weeks in the run-up to this match. If they made that much of an improvement in one week in between Italy and Wales, who knows what kind of improvements they've made in the past fortnight?" Ireland winger Luke Fitzgerald can't wait to start against England in front of a packed Croke Park and insists he will enjoy the occasion. "I don't see why you should be shackled by fear," said the Leinster star. "It's much more important to relish those occasions and feed off the energy you get. That's something that I try to do. "I got a taste for it last year. I think I got about 40 minutes against them and absolutely loved it. "But to play them in Croke Park would just be phenomenal and one of those experiences that you never forget for the rest of your life." Ronan O'Gara will win his 90th cap in the game while John Hayes will equal O'Kelly's Irish record 92 cap total. The Ireland team to play England is - Robert Kearney; Tommy Bowe, Brian O'Driscoll (capt.), Paddy Wallace, Luke Fitzgerald; Ronan O'Gara, Tomas O'Leary; Marcus Horan, Jerry Flannery, John Hayes, Donncha O'Callaghan, Paul O'Connell, Stephen Ferris, David Wallace, Jamie Heaslip. Replacements: Rory Best, Tom Court, Mick O'Driscoll, Denis Leamy, Peter Stringer, Gordon D'Arcy, Geordan Murphy.
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