"Ford at Fly Half" - Expected England Team To Face Ireland in Dublin - Ruck

“Ford at Fly Half” – Expected England Team To Face Ireland in Dublin

England continue their Summer Nations Series campaign this Saturday, as they take on Ireland in Dublin’s Aviva Stadium. This will be the first meeting between Steve Borthwick and Andy Farrell’s men, since the 2023 Six Nations finale saw Ireland claim the Grand Slam.

England Head Coach Borthwick has to re-organise his squad, with his captain Owen Farrell suspended for the trip to Ireland. Farrell was the first English player to experience the new ‘bunker’ off-field review system, after his shoulder charge on Taine Basham was upgraded from a yellow to a red card, in last weekend’s match against Wales.

Replacement fly half George Ford salvaged the match for England, as he slotted the match-winning penalty for a 19-17 victory. Despite coming away on the right side of the score-line, England have a lot to work on this week. England battled back after an ill-disciplined second half saw them drop down to 12 men at one stage, with Henry Arundell, Ellis Genge, Freddie Steward and Owen Farrell all sent to the bin throughout the match.

Borthwick’s recent first choice scrum half Jack van Poortvliet will miss out on the Rugby World Cup, after sustaining an ankle injury in Saturday’s match. Van Poortvliet was replaced just after the half hour mark by his Leicester Tigers mentor Ben Youngs, with JVP’s release from the squad confirmed earlier today.

Ireland are amongst the favourites to win the upcoming Rugby World Cup, and began their Summer Nations campaign with a routine 33-17 victory over Italy. Ireland will want to follow this up with a big win at home over England, before rounding off their World Cup preparations with a match against Samoa.

Here are RUCK’s predictions for the England team to play Ireland in Dublin.

Back Three

Elliot Daly of England evades the welsh defence during the Summer Nations Series Match between England and Wales at Twickenham, London on 12 Aug 2023 (Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK)

15. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers)

14. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby)

11. Elliot Daly (Saracens)

Despite having a moment of madness with his tackle on a mid-air Josh Adams, we believe that Freddie Steward will retain his spot at fullback for the test against Ireland. Elliot Daly will also return to the left wing, with veteran international winger Anthony Watson partnering him. We’ve selected Watson over Arundell, as Ireland will prove the toughest test during the Summer Nations Series, and Borthwick will want to test out his experienced men for such clashes.


Joe Marchant of England on the break during the Match between England and Barbarians at Twickenham Stadium on 19 June 2022. Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

13. Joe Marchant (Stade Francais)

12. Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby)

Manu Tuilagi was reportedly training outside of the rest of the squad, throughout England’s preparations for last weekend’s matcha against Wales. Borthwick may not want to risk the Sale Sharks man if he is not fully fit, in order to get the best possible version of Tuilagi for the clash with Fiji. After an impressive comeback to full fitness, Ollie Lawrence slots in at 12, with Joe Marchant outside him to re-create the same midfield from last weekend’s win at Twickenham.