Six Nations: Doris and Sheehan fit for Ireland’s Grand Slam contest with England

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The availability of Caelan Doris and Dan Sheehan is a bit boost for Grand Slam-chasing Ireland following their injuries they sustained at Murrayfield
Caelan Doris and Dan Sheehan were both forced off in the first-half of Ireland’s attritional win over Scotland but have been passed fit to start in the Grand Slam contest
Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin Date: Saturday, 18 March Kick-off: 17:00 GMT
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio Ulster; follow live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app

Caelan Doris and Dan Sheehan have been passed fit to start for Grand Slam-chasing Ireland in Saturday’s Six Nations game against England in Dublin.

Centre Robbie Henshaw and lock Ryan Baird replace Garry Ringrose and Iain Henderson who were injured in last Sunday’s attritional win over Scotland.

A further change for the Aviva Stadium game sees scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park taking over from Conor Murray.

Henshaw, Baird and Gibson-Park all came on as replacements last weekend.

Given the two enforced changes, Ireland coach Andy Farrell will be particularly relieved that Doris and Sheehan are available.

Doris has had a sensational Six Nations for Ireland at number eight with his carrying ability and breakdown work both key components of the team’s game plan.

Hooker Sheehan’s availability is also important for the Irish after both he and his replacement Ronan Kelleher were forced off at Murrayfield, which meant that prop Cian Healy had to move to the middle of the scrum in the front row as flanker Josh van der Flier performed the line-out throwing duties.

With Kelleher ruled out, Ulster’s Rob Herring, who was concussed after starting in Ireland’s second game against France, is named on the bench with his club-mate Kieran Treadwell also drafted into the replacements as Leinster’s Baird takes over from the injured Henderson in the second row.

Henshaw earns his first Ireland start since he picked up a hamstring injury in the November win over Fiji as he takes over from the influential Ringrose, which means that another Leinster back, Jimmy O’Brien, is named in the replacements.

Scrum-half Gibson-Park’s first playing involvement in this season’s tournament was when he replaced Murray after 53 minutes last weekend.

The Leinster number nine was a late withdrawal from Ireland’s opening win over Wales and his hamstring injury kept him out until his inclusion on the bench last weekend.

Prior to his injury, Gibson-Park has established himself as Farrell’s first-choice scrum-half and he returns to the starting team as veteran Murray is named in the replacements.

Ireland are aiming to secure their fourth Grand Slam, having achieved the feat in 1948, 2009 and 2018.

Ireland: Keenan; Hansen, Henshaw, Aki, Lowe; Sexton (capt), Gibson-Park; Porter, Sheehan, Furlong; Baird, Ryan; O’Mahony, van der Flier, Doris.

Replacements: Herring, Healy, O’Toole, Treadwell, Conan, Murray, R Byrne, O’Brien.


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