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Dublin: 18 °C Friday 14 August, 2020

Hooked: Frankie Sheahan's team selection verdict

The former Ireland and Munster star runs the rule over Declan Kidney’s side to face England on Saturday.

Togging out: Jamie Heaslip at training this morning.
Togging out: Jamie Heaslip at training this morning.
Image: INPHO/James Crombie

THE TEAM TO to play England in the final game of the RBS 6 Nations Championship at Aviva Stadium on Saturday has been named.

There are two changes in personnel in the backline and also a positional switch. Keith Earls moves to full-back in place of Luke Fitzgerald. Andrew Trimble comes into the team on the left wing, for his first start in this year’s Championship. Jonathan Sexton will start the game with Ronan O’Gara moving to the replacements.

I did not feel that Declan Kidney would make changes but indeed he has! I am invigorated at the prospect of Keith Earls at full-back.

“Is it a change for this game or was Ronan dropped? There is a big difference.”

He has not seen enough ball on the wing, to the point that he has been wasted out there. At full-back, Keith will embrace the added responsibility and outside of his performance, we will get a chance to see another combination in play. I would still have liked to have seen Luke retained on the wing but one can’t argue at Andrew Trimble’s inclusion. He is big and powerful and will add to the mix.

I was also surprised to see Ronan O’Gara drop to the bench. My opinion on this change would be based on the nature of the change. Is it a change for this game or was Ronan dropped? There is a big difference, but if it was a switch for this game, I would welcome this type of selection policy. Players should be changed far more often in my opinion.

Recent changes in established players have reaped great rewards. Remember how Cian Healy reacted earlier in the year when dropped by Leinster, Donnacha O’Callaghan is another example and Ronan O’Gara. Keep the guys on their toes!

A couple of changes in the front five would also have been a positive but Kidney has decided to keep faith in the eight that lost against Wales.

  • Get Frankie’s free Guinness Six Nations updates to your phone: Freetext RUGBY followed by your name and date of birth to 50422. And check out his Friday Facebook match predictions for the weekend ahead on

Check out the full team selection here | Visit Frankie’s blog at Front Row| Do you agree with Kidney’s decision?

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