Robinson makes sweeping changes

Andy Robinson has wielded the axe after England's French farce and dropped six World Cup winners for the RBS 6 Nations Championship finale against Ireland at Twickenham on Saturday. [more]

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Andy Robinson has wielded the axe after England’s French farce and dropped six World Cup winners for the RBS 6 Nations Championship finale against Ireland at Twickenham on Saturday.

With Sale Sharks fly-half Charlie Hodgson sidelined by a hamstring injury, it means there are seven new faces in the England starting line-up following the Paris debacle.

Full-back Josh Lewsey, centre Mike Tindall, scrum-half Matt Dawson, hooker Steve Thompson, prop Julian White and lock Danny Grewcock – who boast more than 300 Test caps between them – have all been axed.

All bar Lewsey are relegated to the replacements’ bench, while there are starts for Tom Voyce in the number 15 shirt, Wasps centre Stuart Abbott, Leicester scrum-half Harry Ellis, Sale Sharks prop Andrew Sheridan, Bath hooker Lee Mears and Wasps lock Simon Shaw.

Leicester points machine Andy Goode takes over from the stricken Hodgson, and will make his first RBS 6 Nations start, along with Abbott and Mears.

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There are seven changes of personnel, plus a positional switch with Bath prop Matt Stevens moving from loosehead to tighthead prop instead of White.

Newcastle fly-half Dave Walder, meanwhile, has been drafted on to the bench as cover for Goode.

It represents radical but essential surgery by head coach Robinson after England slumped to their heaviest championship defeat for 20 years.

T Voyce (Wasps); M Cueto (Sale), J Noon (Newcastle), S Abbott (Wasps), B Cohen (Northampton); A Goode (Leicester), H Ellis (Leicester);

A Sheridan (Sale), L Mears (Bath), M Stevens (Bath), S Borthwick (Bath), S Shaw (Wasps), J Worsley (Wasps), L Moody (Leicester), M Corry (Leicester, capt).

Replacements: S Thompson (Northampton), J White (Leicester), D Grewcock (Bath), L Dallaglio (Wasps), M Dawson (Wasps), D Walder (Newcastle), M Tindall (Gloucester)

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