Nick Easter will captain England in Ireland

Nick Easter will captain England against Ireland in Saturday's RBS Six Nations Championship clash after Mike Tindall was ruled out with an ankle ligament strain.

Matt Banahan will make his second Test start at outside centre in place of Tindall, who was injured in England's 22-16 victory over Scotland last weekend.



Saracens wing David Strettle, whose last Test appearance for England came against New Zealand on the 2008 summer tour, will fill the vacant back's position on the bench.



Johnson has otherwise kept changes to a minimum as England seek a win which would clinch a first Grand Slam since 2003.



With Banahan starting, the England manager will have used only 17 starting players in the championship.



Leicester flanker Tom Croft remains among the replacements, despite marking his comeback from a fractured shoulder with a try-scoring appearance off the bench against Scotland.



Easter, who took over the leadership reigns when Tindall was forced off at half-time against Scotland, first captained England in a Test match in last November's victory over Samoa.



That was also the game in which Banahan, 24, made his first Test start at outside centre after winning his first five England caps on the wing.



The 6ft 7in Channel islander made a forceful impact when he replaced Tindall in England's midfield at half-time against Scotland.



There were some fears Banahan could have been cited after a clash with Kelly Brown, which led to the Scotland number eight being stretchered off.



Banahan had always denied leading with the forearm as he ran into Brown's attempted tackle and the citing officer yesterday concluded there was no case to answer.

England boss Martin Johnson reiterated his praise of the performance against Scotland, and laid out the objectives for this weekend.

"We just need to be really smart with the ball in this game and control it very well, really put pressure on them," Johnson said.



Johnson has been delighted to see the quality emerge from within his squad, when England's first-choice players have not been available.



"The depth of the squad has been good," he said. "Lots of guys have stepped in and done very well.



"Even if you're not seeing them on the field, they're getting good involvement with the team in training.



"When they get their opportunities they've generally been taking them in the last year or so.



"The players have been great.



"When you've got guys like Jonny Wilkinson who've done everything, still out there training, trying to improve, that's the sort of player you want.



"We've got that with the young guys too, and they just want to get better."



Johnson also reflected on the decision to move World Cup matches away from Christchurch, following the earthquake which hit the city on February 22.



Seven matches, including England's September pool meetings with Argentina and Georgia, will be played elsewhere in New Zealand.



"When it (the earthquake) happened you just thought it was going to be very, very difficult (to stage matches in Christchurch)," Johnson said.



"I'm sure it was a tough decision for everyone but I guess it's the right decision."



As for where England's matches might be moved to, Johnson said: "I'm sure we'll find out pretty quickly.



"There's plenty of good facilities there so I'm sure we'll be somewhere good and play in a good stadium. They're a rugby-mad country so we'll get on with it."



England team to play Ireland in the RBS 6 Nations at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, March 19 (kick-off 5pm):

B Foden (Northampton Saints); C Ashton (Northampton Saints), M Banahan (Bath Rugby), S Hape (Bath Rugby), M Cueto (Sale Sharks); T Flood (Leicester Tigers), B Youngs (Leicester Tigers); A Corbisiero (London Irish), D Hartley (Northampton Saints), D Cole (Leicester Tigers), L Deacon (Leicester Tigers), T Palmer (Stade Francais), T Wood (Northampton Saints), J Haskell (Stade Francais), N Easter (Harlequins, capt).



Replacements: S Thompson (Leeds Carnegie), P Doran-Jones (Gloucester), S Shaw (London Wasps), T Croft (Leicester Tigers), D Care (Harlequins), J Wilkinson (Toulon), D Strettle (Saracens).

Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind-the-scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
News
Winchester College Football (universally known as Winkies) is designed to make athletic skill all but irrelevant
Life...arcane public school games explained
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
News
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone