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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 February 2007, 13:52 GMT
Irish get Stringer fitness boost
Ireland scrum-half Peter Stringer
Scrum-half Peter Stringer missed Ireland's match against France
Ireland scrum-half Peter Stringer has been passed fit for Saturday's Six Nations clash against England.

Stringer sustained a fractured hand in Ireland's Championship opener against Wales and missed the 20-17 defeat by France a week later.

However, Stringer has now received the all-clear to start so Isaac Boss will be on the bench at Croke Park.

"Peter has shown no negative reaction to the injury during training," said Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan.

With Boss on the bench, Eoin Reddan drops out of the match day 22.

Stringer's availability is a further boost for Ireland after Brian O'Driscoll was declared fit earlier this week.

O'Driscoll has recovered from the hamstring injury which kept him out of the French game and will lead the side.

O'Driscoll's return means Shane Horgan moves to the right wing with Geordan Murphy left out of the match 22.

SIX NATIONS BLOG
BBC Northern Ireland's Jim Stokes

Ronan O'Gara suffered an ankle injury against France and missed training last week but has also been included in the team to face England.

Powerful Ulster back Andrew Trimble is preferred to Murphy on the bench.

"The exclusion of Geordan will be an issue for some but with Brian back and Shane on the wing it was a scramble for the utility position on bench," O'Sullivan added.

"It was a tough call but that's where we were. Geordan is not firing on all cylinders at the moment and Andrew has come back stronger."

606 DEBATE: Your predictions for this weekend's fixtures

Ireland: Dempsey; Horgan, O'Driscoll (capt), D'Arcy, Hickie; O'Gara, Stringer; Horan, R Best, Hayes, O'Callaghan, O'Connell, S Easterby, D Wallace, Leamy.
Replacements: Flannery, S Best, N Best, M O'Driscoll, Boss, P Wallace, Trimble.




SEE ALSO
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19 Feb 07 |  English


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