Poms welcome back Worsely

Joe Worsely is one of two changes to a England side announced 11 days before they take on Ireland.

The blindside flanker replaces the crocked Nick Easter, while Olly Morgan comes in at fullback for Iain Balshaw who is struggling with a groin ailment.

The double change means coach Brian Ashton will face Ireland on 24 February with the same team who beat Scotland 42-20 in the opening round.

But the club versus country debacle may rear its ugly head again. The early announcement of the England team is made by coach Brian Ashton is an attempt to ensure their clubs are given adequate warning and rest the players over the weekend.

The clubs, however, have no obligation to exclude these men from the Premiership. Elite director of rugby Rob Andrew is hopeful the clubs will be reasonable and consider the greater good of English rugby.

“We’ve already had an indication that certain players will be rested, possibly benched, and we will look at it on an individual basis and try and release as many of the starting XV as we can.

“The clubs are making huge efforts. Nine of the starting XV against Scotland did not play the previous weekend. So there’s huge effort going on by the clubs and we fully understand their position.

“Over the weekend it’s very likely to be about individual circumstances, how each player and club feel and how they want to deal with it this weekend.”

England – 15 Olly Morgan, 14 Josh Lewsey, 13 Mike Tindall, 12 Andy Farrell, 11 Jason Robinson, 10 Jonny Wilkinson, 9 Harry Ellis, 8 Martin Corry, 7 Magnus Lund, 6 Joe Worsley, 5 Danny Grewcock, 4 Louis Deacon, 3 Phil Vickery (c) George Chuter, 1 Perry Freshwater.
Subs: 16 Lee Mears, 17 Julian White, 18 Tom Palmer, 19 Tom Rees, 20 Shaun Perry, 21 Toby Flood,, 22 Mat Tait.