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Easter ruled out

England number eight Nick Easter failed a fitness test on his tight calf shortly before today's World Cup warm-up clash with Ireland.

Easter was replaced in the starting line-up by Hendre Fourie, who is not a member of Martin Johnson's 30-man squad for the New Zealand tournament, with James Haskell switching to number eight to accommodate the Sale openside.

England fielded a new-look centre partnership of Alesana Tuilagi and Mike Tindall at Aviva Stadium, with Jonny Wilkinson featuring at fly-half.

Brian O'Driscoll was missing for Ireland after sustaining a 'stinger' injury to his shoulder, while flanker Sean O'Brien sat out the match because of a knee problem.


From Belfast Telegraph