Ireland v England
Nowell and Goode start against Ireland
ESPN Staff
February 27, 2015

England have handed starts to Alex Goode and Jack Nowell ahead of their Six Nations match against Ireland on Sunday.

Goode comes into the side for Mike Brown, who failed to pass the mandatory return-to-play protocols, while Nowell replaces the dropped Jonny May. Henry Thomas replaces Kieran Brookes on England's bench.

It will be Goode's first start for England since March 2013 during which time Brown established himself as England's first-choice fullback. But following the bang to the head he suffered in England's round two win over Italy, he is yet to tick the required boxes in his recovery. England are hopeful he will be fit for their round four game against Scotland.

Nowell played in all five 2014 Six Nations games for England but then missed their summer tour and autumn series due to injury. May started the first two championship matches but struggled to find the form he showed in November.

"We've made minimal changes as we felt the squad have performed well in the first two games," Lancaster said. "Alex is in good form for Saracens and has been training well over the last few weeks, as has Jack, who is also playing well for Exeter.

"Both have been pushing hard for selection and I am sure will seize their chance against a high quality Ireland side. Chris Pennell and Manu Tuilagi will also travel. Manu has been recovering with us and so it's good to continue keeping him connected.

"There are no Greene King IPA Championship matches this weekend so Chris can also spend more time with the squad."


Alex Goode, Anthony Watson, Jonathan Joseph, Luther Burrell, Jack Nowell, George Ford, Ben Youngs; Joe Marler, Dylan Hartley, Dan Cole, Dave Attwood, George Kruis, James Haskell, Chris Robshaw (captain), Billy Vunipola

Replacements: Tom Youngs, Mako Vunipola, Henry Thomas, Nick Easter, Tom Croft, Richard Wigglesworth, Danny Cipriani, Billy Twelvetrees

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