Six Nations: Owen Farrell expected to return to England starting XV to face Ireland | Rugby Union News
England face Six Nations Grand Slam-chasing Ireland in Dublin on Saturday; Owen Farrell, who dropped to the bench for England’s humiliating 53-10 defeat to France at Twickenham, is in line to feature from the start; Manu Tuilagi is also set to return at centre, alongside Henry Slade
Last Updated: 16/03/23 7:58am
Owen Farrell is expected to return at fly-half to face Grand Slam-chasing Ireland in Saturday’s Six Nations finale in Dublin.
The England captain was dropped to the bench for the record home defeat to France last weekend, but is in line to start in Dublin, despite suggestions he had picked up an ankle injury in training.
The stage is set for one of the great days in Irish rugby as Andy Farrell’s men stand on the brink of completing a Championship clean sweep to ignite the St Patrick’s weekend party.
While Ireland sit atop the global rankings and are primed to take this autumn’s World Cup by storm, England have been picking up the pieces after France rampaged through Twickenham in a record 53-10 home defeat.
How much scarring has been left by the experience will be revealed in the climax to the Six Nations.
Manu Tuilagi is also set to return at centre, alongside Henry Slade, in another new England midfield.
If Steve Borthwick deploys this midfield, it would be the same 10-12-13 combination that beat Ireland in Dublin four years ago.
Marcus Smith, who started at fly-half against France, will drop to the bench to accommodate for the changes.
Ireland, meanwhile, have a host of injuries to contend with as they look to complete a fourth Grand Slam in their history.
Garry Ringrose and Iain Henderson have been ruled out, while there are doubts over Dan Sheehan, Ronan Kelleher and Caelan Doris.
Robbie Henshaw is expected to replace Ringrose at centre with Ryan Baird starting at lock.