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2020-21 Autumn Nations Cup England Men International Rugby Men Ireland Men

Autumn Nations Cup: Teams up for England v Ireland.

The second round of the Autumn Nations Cup takes place this weekend after a fairly sedate start last week. You can catch up with the fixtures, results and our associated coverage here and there are replays of each game available on Amazon Prime.

After a fairly low key start last week, with only the Scotland Italy game springing into life, things should pick up this week with three attractive fixtures still standing at the time of writing (details below).

Sat, 21 Nov 20ItalyC – CFijiAmazon PrimePremier Sports
Sat, 21 Nov 20England15:00IrelandC4, Amazon PrimeRTE
Sat, 21 Nov 20Wales17:15GeorgiaAmazon PrimePremier Sports
Sun, 22 Nov 20Scotland15:00FranceAmazon PrimePremier Sports

With Italy Fiji cancelled due to Fiji’s COVID-19 outbreak the England Ireland match kicks off this week’s coverage with both sides making changes from last week’s outings, against Georgia and Wales respectively.

Following, Iain Henderson’s and Jacob Stockdale’s late withdrawal last week both find themselves on the bench for this one where they are joined by clubmates Rob Herring and Billy Burns.

Coach Andy Farrell brings Keith Earls, Bundee Aki and Ross Byrne into the starting back line and CJ Stander comes into the back row. There is plenty being written this week about the non Irish born players involved, with Aki, Stander and Herring taking the squad total up to eight this week or 35% of the squad.

However, the biggest concern in my book is Earls, Healy and O’Mahoney in the starting line up for a match that should be the start of the build up for the 2023 World Cup. We all know they are great players but there are plenty of youngsters needing looked at in a match that will be long forgotten before the World Cup rolls round.

England’s changes have involved bumping their “finishers” up as Mako Vunipola, Kyle Sinckler, Tom Curry and Sam Underhill all come into the starting line up. George Ford returns to the squad after injury to take up a bench spot.

We’ve been tidying up our U20 coverage the last few days and, as an interesting aside, Ford’s return to the England squad makes it seven players from their 2011 U20 Grand Slam match against Ireland U20’s in this game. None of the Ireland U20’s from that game are involved but it did feature “Ulster” players Martin Moore and Jordi Murphy. Hmm!

The FRU Predicts: Given his normal penchant for over dramatising everything Eddy Jones has billed this as the biggest game of the year. Whoo! While Ireland will be well up for this one I suspect it will be England who grind out the win.

Teams for England v Ireland

ENGLANDIRELAND
Elliot Daly15Hugo Keenan
Jonathan Joseph14Keith Earls
Ollie Lawrence13Chris Farrell
Henry Slade12Bundee Aki
Jonny May11James Lowe
Owen Farrell (c)10Ross Byrne
Ben Youngs9Jamison Gibson-Park
Mako Vunipola1Cian Healy
Jamie George2Ronan Kelleher
Kyle Sinckler3Andrew Porter
Maro Itoje4Quinn Roux
Joe Launchbury5James Ryan (c)
Tom Curry6CJ Stander
Sam Underhill7Peter O’Mahony
Billy Vunipola8Caelan Doris
Tom Dunn16Rob Herring
Ellis Genge17Ed Byrne
Will Stuart18Finlay Bealham
Jonny Hill19Iain Henderson
Ben Earl20Will Connors
Dan Robson21Conor Murray
George Ford22Billy Burns
Max Malins23Jacob Stockdale

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