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Will O'Callaghan
Will O'Callaghan

15.00 19 Feb 2020


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Ireland head-coach Andy Farrell says his back-row forwards have earned the chance to start against England at Twickenham in the Guinness Six Nations this Sunday. 

Peter O'Mahony, Josh van der Flier, and CJ Stander have retained their places from the win over Wales with the fit-again Caelan Doris having to be content with a place among the replacements.

Farrell insists that it's not a case of protecting the Mayo youngster, who suffered a head knock early on in his debut against Scotland earlier this month:

"It's definitely not a risk, he's been fit for quite some time. But if I think if you look at the reaction at the rest of the back-row, they deserve a start.

"We'd all like to see Caelan doing a little bit more than four minutes and showing what he's got at international level and we can't wait to see that from the bench.

Farrell added that a collective defensive effort will be needed if they're to register a first victory against England since sealing a Grand Slam at Twickenham on Saint Patrick's Day in 2018:

"You certainly have to be at your best and we were the last time we won there. You can't just go there and hope it goes well for you, you have to go and attack the game and do it in the right manner.

"A big old effort from everyone in the group is needed, you don't go to England and win on your own, you win as a collective and that's what we've been talking about all week."

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