England v Ireland team announcement LIVE: Andy Farrell makes six changes for Six Nations clash
Johnny Sexton has been restored to Ireland’s starting XV as part of six changes for Saturday’s Guinness Six Nations showdown with England.
Prop Cian Healy will make his first start of this year’s tournament, in place of the injured Andrew Porter, while Hugo Keenan, Andrew Conway, Bundee Aki and James Ryan also return.
Andy Farrell’s men must beat their title rivals at Twickenham to remain in contention for championship glory.
Leinster fly-half Sexton came off the bench during the 57-6 round-three victory over Italy after missing the defeat to Grand Slam-chasing France with a minor hamstring issue.
The 36-year-old, who this week signed a contract extension and announced he will retire after next year’s World Cup, has regained the number 10 jersey from Joey Carbery and will win his 104th cap.
Robbie Henshaw will join Carbery in dropping to the bench, while Michael Lowry, Mack Hansen and Ryan Baird have been omitted from Farrell’s match-day squad.
Lock Iain Henderson has been named among the replacements after a positive coronavirus test ruled him out against the Azzurri.
Meanwhile, Alex Dombrandt has sufficiently recovered from coronavirus to secure a place on England’s bench.
Dombrandt’s inclusion was pending a successful run-out in Thursday’s training session and while removed from the starting XV that defeated Wales, he is able to provide number eight cover from the bench.
Sam Simmonds starts in his place and England have also been lifted by the presence of Tom Curry, who has passed the return to play protocols form concussion to continue at openside.
Get the latest sports headlines straight to your inbox by signing up for free email alerts