Thursday, March 17, 2011
Matt Banahan will be Mike Tindalls outside centre replacement when England face Ireland in Dublin this coming weekend. Against Scotland Banahan showed that despite his inexperience in Test rugby, he's capable of making an impact.
The upcoming game against Ireland, all important as England seek out a Six Nations Grand Slam, will only be his second start at outside centre for his country, so its a make or break type of scenario, especially when you consider who the opposing midfield consists of.
Weve seen what a physical presence he can be though, and while some viewed his charge into Scotland flank Kelly Brown as dangerous, Banahan himself denied there was any malice in it. It has since been dismissed, without an official citing even taking place.
It did look as though the initial contact might have been with the shoulder, but there was a leading forearm that may or may not have done some damage too. Whatever the case, Brown out cold for a while, before being carried off on a stretcher.
He later made a good recovery, with team doctor James Robson saying on Monday that Brown had been concussed, but was in good spirits. He has now been cleared to play against Italy in Scotlands final Six Nations game at Murrayfield on Saturday.
Nick Easter take over from Tindall as captain of England for their clash with Ireland.
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