Ireland make six changes, a few enforced and a the rest for tactical or form reasons. Bundee Aki is in at centre for the injured Gary Ringrose, while James Lowe’s convincing impression of a man ill-suited to this level of rugby has been given the shepherd’s crook by Farrell and former wunderkind Jacob Stockdale regains his place on the wing.
In the pack Will Connors, a revelation vs Scotland, is out injured and replaced by Leinster’s Josh van der Flier; while the absence of James Ryan with a head injury sees Tadhg Beirne move to second row and Jack Conan take his place in the back row.
England’s only change was Elliot Daly back into the side at outside-centre in place of the injured Henry Slade. But a very late injury to Max Malins sees Daly back at 15 and brings Ollie Lawrence into the centre berth. Leicester young back row George Martin appears on a 6-2 split bench with Joe Marchant and Dan Robson the two backs. This means that even with all these absences the exciting Wasps winger Paolo Odogwu is yet to make an appearance in any matchday squad after much fanfare at his call up at the beginning of the tournament.
Ireland: Hugo Keenan; Keith Earls, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale; Jonathan Sexton (capt), Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Rob Herring, Tadhg Furlong, Iain Henderson, Tadhg Beirne, CJ Stander, Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan.
Replacements: 16 Ronan Kelleher, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Andrew Porter, 19 Ryan Baird, 20 Peter O’Mahony, 21 Jamison Gibson Park, 22 Billy Burns, 23 Jordan Larmour.
England: Elliot Daly; Anthony Watson, Ollie Lawrence, Owen Farrell (capt), Jonny May; George Ford, Ben Youngs; Mako Vunipola, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, Charlie Ewels, Mark Wilson, Tom Curry, Billy Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Will Stuart, 19 Jonny Hill, 20 Ben Earl, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Ollie Lawrence, 23 TBC.