Ireland's Murray out of England clash

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 14:23
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Ireland scrumhalf Conor Murray has been ruled out of Saturday's Six Nations clash against England in Dublin after failing to overcome a shoulder injury.

Meanwhile, Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has dropped lock Devin Toner, with the New Zealander recalling fit-again fullback Jared Payne ahead of Rob Kearney

Murray injured himself in Ireland's 9-22 loss to Wales in Cardiff last Friday, a defeat that all but ended their title hopes.

Kieran Marmion replaced Murray at scrumhalf in the team announced by Schmidt on Thursday, with Iain Henderson preferred to Toner.

Defeat for the Irish would see them drop out of the top band of teams for May's 2019 World Cup draw in Kyoto if Wales beat France in Paris.

Victory for England, who wrapped up the Six Nations title with a 61-21 thrashing of Scotland last week, would give them a new record of 19 consecutive Tests wins by a leading Rugby Union nations, beating the mark of world champions New Zealand, and see Eddie Jones's men complete back-to-back Grand Slams.

Ireland: 15 Jared Payne, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Christiaan Stander, 5 Iain Henderson, 4 Donnacha Ryan, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rory Best, 1 Jack McGrath.
Replacements: 16 Niall Scannell, 17 Cian Healy, 18 John Ryan, 19 Devin Toner, 20 Peter O'Mahony, 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Paddy Jackson, 23 Andrew Conway. 

Date: Saturday, March 18
Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Kick-off: 17.00 (17.00 GMT)
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)
Assistant referees: Mathieu Raynal (France), Marius Mitrea (Italy)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

AFP

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SIX NATIONS
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Team P W D L Pts
England 5 4 0 1 19
Ireland 5 3 0 2 14
France 5 3 0 2 14
Scotland 5 3 0 2 14
Wales 5 2 0 3 10
Italy 5 0 0 5 0