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Dowson could face Ireland

England number eight Phil Dowson remains in contention to face Ireland on Saturday despite being knocked out in the closing stages of last weekend's 24-22 victory over France.

Dowson collided with France centre Wesley Fofana as he dived on a loose ball and he was lying prone when England team-mate Tom Croft stood on his face.

But the Northampton number eight has been retained in a 24-man England training squad that will prepare for Saturday's Six Nations finale against Ireland.

England's interim coach Stuart Lancaster has included both David Strettle, who missed the France game with a chest injury, and his replacement Charlie Sharples.

As a result, Harlequins scrum-half Karl Dickson is one of eight players released back to their clubs this weekend, including Leicester fly-half Toby Flood.

Lancaster will confirm his starting line-up to play Ireland when he names his match-day 22 on Thursday.

England's 24-man training squad for the RBS 6 Nations match against Ireland:

Forwards - M Botha (Saracens), A Corbisiero (London Irish), D Cole (Leicester Tigers), T Croft (Leicester Tigers), P Dowson (Northampton Saints), D Hartley (Northampton Saints), J Marler (Harlequins), B Morgan (Scarlets), T Palmer (Stade Francais), G Parling (Leicester Tigers), C Robshaw (Harlequins), M Stevens (Saracens), R Webber (London Wasps).

Backs - C Ashton (Northampton Saints), B Barritt (Saracens), M Brown (Harlequins), L Dickson (Northampton Saints), O Farrell (Saracens), B Foden (Northampton Saints), C Hodgson (Saracens), C Sharples (Gloucester Rugby), D Strettle (Saracens), M Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), B Youngs (Leicester Tigers)


From Belfast Telegraph