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Goode returns as England make two changes for Ireland

Saracens’ Alex Goode will start his first Test for England in two years when he lines up against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday.

Goode replaces Mike Brown (Harlequins) and is joined in the back line by Exeter Chiefs wing Jack Nowell, who takes over from Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby) on the left wing.

In the only other change to the matchday 23, Henry Thomas (Bath Rugby) replaces Kieran Brookes on the replacements’ bench as the Newcastle Falcons prop continues to recover from a hip flexor strain.

England head coach Stuart Lancaster said: “We’ve made minimal changes as we felt the squad performed well in the first two games.

“Alex is in good form for Saracens and has been training well over the last few weeks, as has Jack Nowell who is also playing well for Exeter Chiefs. 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 it’s good to continue keeping him connected while Chris will be a travelling reserve.”

England team to play Ireland:
15. Alex Goode (Saracens, 16 caps)
14. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 6 caps)
13. Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 8 caps)
12. Luther Burrell (Northampton Saints, 9 caps)
11. Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 5 caps)
10. George Ford (Bath Rugby, 8 caps)
9. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 44 caps)
1. Joe Marler (Harlequins, 28 caps)
2. Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints, 63 caps)
3. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 47 caps)
4. Dave Attwood (Bath Rugby, 18 caps)
5. George Kruis (Saracens, 6 caps)
6. James Haskell (Wasps, 55 caps)
7. Chris Robshaw (captain, Harlequins, 34 caps)
8. Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 14 caps)

Replacements:
16. Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 19 caps)
17. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 17 caps)
18. Henry Thomas (Bath Rugby, 7 caps)
19. Nick Easter (Harlequins, 49 caps)
20. Tom Croft (Leicester Tigers, 39 caps)
21. Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens, 18 caps)
22. Danny Cipriani (Sale Sharks, 10 caps)
23. Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby, 18 caps)
 
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