Bowe, Flannery and Ferris to face England
Tommy Bowe, Jerry Flannery and Stephen Ferris will make their first starts of the Guinness Summer Series against England at the Aviva Stadium this weekend.
Long-term injury absentees Flannery and Ferris have made cameo appearances from the bench in Ireland’s warm-up games so far, while Bowe appears in a green jersey for the first time since the defeat of England in the final Six Nations game earlier this year.
Bowe’s inclusion means that Keith Earls switches to outside centre alongside Gordon D’Arcy, with Andrew Trimble getting the opportunity to continue his impressive form on the wing.
In a side which shows seven changes from last week, Geordan Murphy will start at full-back, while Eoin Reddan is named alongside Ronan O’Gara at half back.
Sean O’Brien and captain Brian O’Driscoll are notable absentees from the matchday 22. O’Brien suffered a knee injury in training this week which threatens his participation in the World Cup next month, while O’Driscoll is left out after suffering a minor knock against France.
Ferris takes O’Brien’s place at blindside flanker, while David Wallace starts at openside after missing last week’s defeat to France with a hamstring problem.
Ireland’s clash with England kicks off at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday at 2.30pm.
Ireland team to play England: Geordan Murphy, Tommy Bowe, Keith Earls, Gordon D'Arcy, Andrew Trimble, Ronan O'Gara, Eoin Reddan, Cian Healy, Jerry Flannery, Mike Ross, Donncha O'Callaghan, Paul O'Connell, Stephen Ferris, David Wallace, Jamie Heaslip
Replacements: Rory Best, Tom Court, Donnacha Ryan, Conor Murray, Denis Leamy, Jonathan Sexton, Fergus McFadden