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England v Ireland– the vital stats

16 March 2012

  •  All the stats and facts on England vs Ireland
  • Get up to speed on when, where and who to watch
Tom Croft is beaten to a lineout by Donncha O'Callaghan of Ireland

Photo: Getty Images

England return to Twickenham this weekend as conquering heroes after recording their first victory across the Channel at the Stade de France since 2008. Tries from Manu Tuilagi, Ben Foden and Tom Croft topped off a superb performance as Stuart Lancaster’s men vanquished Les Bleus on Sunday, moving into second place on the RBS 6 Nations ladder.

The men in white still retain a slim chance of retaining their tournament crown and, back on home soil, they will be desperately keen to finish their RBS 6 Nations campaign on a high by spoiling the St Patrick’s Day celebrations for their Irish opponents.

However, Declan Kidney’s side, who limbered up for their trip to HQ with a 32-14 dismantling of Scotland in Dublin last Saturday, are sure to be equally motivated and will provide another ferocious challenge. The hosts’ first win at Twickenham this year will not come easy. Check out all the stats and facts ahead of what promises to be a fascinating Anglo-Irish clash.

When? Saturday, March 17
Where? Twickenham Stadium
Kick-off? 5pm

How to keep up with the action

  • Live on BBC One from 4.45pm
  • Listen live on BBC Five live 
  • Live text commentary on the free RFU iPhone app (search iTunes for Official RFU)
  • Live score updates from Official_RFU on Twitter
  • Match report, post-match interviews and highlights on RFU.com

The teams

England

15 Ben Foden (Northampton Saints); 14 Chris Ashton (Northampton Saints), 13 Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers) 12 Brad Barritt (Saracens), 11 David Strettle (Saracens); 10 Owen Farrell (Saracens), 9 Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints; 1 Alex Corbisiero (London Irish), 2 Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), 3 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers); 4 Mouritz Botha (Saracens), 5 Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers); 6 Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers), 7 Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, captain), 8 Ben Morgan (Scarlets).
Replacements: 16 Lee Mears (Bath Rugby), 17 Matt Stevens (Saracens), 18 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), 19 Phil Dowson (Northampton Saints), 20 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers), 21 Toby Flood (Leicester Tigers), 22 Mike Brown (Harlequins).

Ireland

15 Rob Kearney (Leinster), 14 Tommy Bowe (Ospreys), 13 Keith Earls (Munster), 12 Gordon D'Arcy (Leinster), 11 Andrew Trimble (Ulster), 10 Jonny Sexton (Leinster), 9 Eoin Reddan (Leinster); 1 Cian Healy (Leinster), 2 Rory Best (Ulster, capt), 3 Mike Ross (Leinster), 4 Donncha O'Callaghan (Munster), 5 Donncha Ryan (Munster), 6 Stephen Ferris (Ulster), 7 Sean O'Brien (Leinster), 8 Jamie Heaslip (Leinster).
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin (Leinster), 17 Tom Court (Ulster), 18 Mike McCarthy (Connacht), 19 Peter O'Mahony (Munster), 20 Tomas O'Leary (Munster), 21 Ronan O'Gara (Munster), 22 Fergus McFadden (Leinster).

What the players say

Tom Croft (England): “[Ireland] are a dangerous side, whether they are creating from set moves, intercepts or just individual brilliance. Players like Tommy Bowe and Stephen Ferris can actually create a lot of things out of nothing.

“We have to be fully aware of that [winning] this weekend and it’s going to take a lot of work. [We need to] go over the France game as quickly as possible and flick that switch over to Ireland as soon as we can.”

Stephen Ferris (Ireland): "If you ask any team who do they like beating and it's always the English.

"England are a good side at the moment and are very hard to break down. Saturday will be two good teams going against each other, but we're also looking forward to getting that result."

Head to head

  • Played 125; England won 71, Ireland won 46, Drawn 8
  • Highest scores – England 50-18 in 2000, Ireland 43-13 in 2007
  • Biggest wins – England 46-6 in 1997, Ireland 43-13 in 2007
Tom Croft shackles Andrew Trimble during England's 20-9 win over Ireland back in August

Photo: Getty Images

Previous ten meetings

  • 2011 (RWC warm-up) Ireland 9-20 England
  • 2011 Ireland 24-8 England
  • 2010 England 16-20 Ireland
  • 2009 Ireland 14-13 England
  • 2008 England 33-10 Ireland
  • 2007 Ireland 43-13 England
  • 2006 England 24-28 Ireland
  • 2005 Ireland 19-13 England
  • 2004 England 13-19 Ireland
  • 2003 Ireland 6-42 England

England key facts

  • IRB World ranking: 4
  • Most capped player: Jason Leonard (114 caps between 1990 and 2004)
  • Most consecutive Test wins: 14 (2002 to 2003)

Ireland key facts

  • IRB World ranking: 7
  • Most capped player: Ronan O’Gara (120 caps since 2000)
  • Most consecutive Test wins: 10 (2002)

Did you know?

  • Ronan O’ Gara, who is now the most capped Ireland player of all time, could make his 121st Test appearance from the replacements’ bench tomorrow. He made his debut back in 2000 against Italy, in the same game as Peter Stringer, John Hayes, Shane Horgan and Simon Easterby.
  • The last Anglo-Irish fixture that Tom Croft, Geoff Parling, Dan Cole and Ben Youngs featured in together was disastrous. Playing for Leicester Tigers against Ulster in the Heineken Cup back in January, they were beaten 41-7.
  • Owen Farrell will be only the second player aged under 21 since 1985 to start all of England's Five or Six Nations matches in a season. Jonny Wilkinson is the other.
  • Rory Best will become Ireland's most capped hooker when he makes his 59th Test appearance this weekend, surpassing Keith Wood.
  • Ireland inside centre Gordon D'Arcy has played in five RBS 6 Nations matches against England, winning all five (2004, 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2011).