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Strettle pressing for England place

David Strettle is pushing for a return to the England team for Saturday's RBS 6 Nations clash with Ireland at Twickenham after recovering well from a sternum injury.

The Saracens wing was forced to pull out of last weekend's 24-22 victory over France on the eve of the game after failing a fitness test.

Charlie Sharples was called up to make his first Test start in Paris and England manager Stuart Lancaster must decide whether to retain the same starting line-up or bring Strettle back.

Otherwise, the England side virtually picks itself following Sunday's remarkable win in Paris which, mathematically at least, has left Lancaster's men heading into the final weekend with a chance of winning the title.

Lancaster will confirm the make-up of his 22-man squad at 10.45am on Thursday and at full-back it is set to include Ben Foden, who will face Ireland four days after becoming a father.

Foden's partner Una Healy, who is Irish and a singer in pop group The Saturdays, gave birth on Tuesday to a 7lb 13oz girl named Aoife Belle.

Lancaster is finalising his selection from a squad of 24 players that includes Northampton loose forward Phil Dowson, who was knocked out during a brief appearance off the bench against France.

Once again there is no place for the Leicester fly-half Toby Flood, with Charlie Hodgson again set to provide the back-up to Owen Farrell.

Wales' superior points difference of plus 38 leaves them with a strong grip on the title.

For England to wrestle if off them, Lancaster's men must put Ireland to the sword and they need France to wreck Wales' Grand Slam party with a comprehensive victory at the Millennium Stadium.

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