6N: Murphy in for Heaslip in Ireland’s only change v England
DUBLIN (AP) — Jordi Murphy replaced the injured Jamie Heaslip at No. 8 in the only change to Ireland’s starting lineup for the potential championship decider against England in the Six Nations on Sunday.
Heaslip was unavailable after he was kneed in the back by France’s Pascal Pape during Ireland’s 18-11 win in Dublin two weeks ago.
Jack McGrath held off the challenge of fit-again prop Cian Healy to make the team, while scrumhalf Eoin Reddan and back-row forward Tommy O’Donnell were called up to the reserves when the matchday 23 was announced on Friday.
Lock Paul O’Connell will win his 99th cap for titleholder Ireland, which is seeking a 10th straight victory to equal the national team’s all-time record.
Ireland and England are the only unbeaten teams in the Six Nations.
Ireland: Rob Kearney, Tommy Bowe, Jared Payne, Robbie Henshaw, Simon Zebo, Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray; Jordi Murphy, Sean O’Brien, Peter O’Mahony, Paul O’Connell (captain), Devin Toner, Mike Ross, Rory Best, Jack McGrath. Reserves: Sean Cronin, Cian Healy, Martin Moore, Iain Henderson, Tommy O’Donnell, Eoin Reddan, Ian Madigan, Felix Jones.