Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby Six Nations

Six Nations: Iain Henderson to start for Ireland in Grand Slam clash against England

By Gareth Hanna

Ulster lock Iain Henderson is back in the Ireland starting line-up to take on England.

Henderson replaces Devin Toner in the only change to the team that beat Scotland last weekend.

Henderson has not started since he suffered a hamstring strain in the win over Italy. He missed the win over Wales and had to make do with a spot among the replacements for last week's victory over Scotland.

"It was part of a plan over these two games that we would mix back selection up," said Schmidt. "Iain has got a little bit of time under his belt after a couple of weeks off so we think that he has progressed a bit more and is more ready to go."

Asked if it's a risk to start the stronger ball-carrier Henderson with Toner to come off the bench, Schmidt pointed to Ireland's final-day victory over England last year.

He said: "The risk goes the other way. Dev has called our line-out for a long-time. If you're chasing the game, you really need your line-out ball. In this fixture last year, Dev came off the bench and finished the game really strongly. There are always risks. It's about calculating what's the lesser risk and what's the greater opportunity. We want to keep giving people opportunity."

Wing Jacob Stockdale has scored six tries in the four Six Nations games so far to tie the all-time championship record. Another score on Saturday and he would stand alone in the record books.

Ireland team to face England

15-9: R Kearney, K Earls, G Ringrose, B Aki, J Stockdale, J Sexton, C Murray

1-8: C Healy, R Best, T Furlong, J Ryan, I Henderson, P O'Mahony, D Leavy, CJ Stander.

Replacements 16-23: S Cronin, J McGrath, A Porter, D Toner, J Murphy, K Marmion, J Carbery, J Larmour.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph