England v Ireland

Brian Ashton and Eddie O'Sullivan
Brian Ashton and Eddie O'Sullivan are both under severe pressure
Date: Saturday, 15 March
Kick-off: 1500 GMT
Venue: Twickenham, London
BBC Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBCi, Radio 5 Live and BBC Sport website (video UK users only)

Saturday's RBS Six Nations clash between England and Ireland could well decide the future of one or other of the two ailing teams' head coaches.

There is nothing to play for in terms of the title, but Brian Ashton and Eddie O'Sullivan both need victory to stem rising tides of criticism.

Danny Cipriani starts at fly-half for England in place of Jonny Wilkinson.

Ireland are without injured captain Brian O'Driscoll, but Geordan Murphy is fit to return at full-back.

Murphy's recall, after missing the defeat by Wales with an Achilles problem, sees Rob Kearney return to the left wing, Tommy Bowe switch to the right flank and Shane Horgan move to centre.

There is big pressure on Ashton, and he knows that dropping Wilkinson to the bench is a major decision that could ultimately prove to be his last.

What has Ashton learnt so far in this Six Nations?

If, however, Cipriani shows anywhere near the kind of form for England that he has with Wasps all season, then Ashton may gain some breathing space.

The head coach is confident he has made the right call.

"Jonny has had an inconsistent Six Nations, and it was always our intention to give Cipriani a start at some point," he said. "For me it was just another selection decision."

Major changes were expected after England's dismal 15-9 defeat to Scotland, but in the end Ashton made just one - another decision he feels is justified.

"It is very easy to have a knee-jerk reaction towards the end of a tournament," he said.

"We didn't play well last weekend, and everyone has held their hand up, including the management team.

"But my feeling was that after the performance against Scotland, they have got an opportunity to bounce back.

As a coach if you get hung up on what is being written then you'll have a miserable life

Eddie O'Sullivan

"We need to put in a really good performance this week, we know that."

Ireland have won their last four Tests against England since 2003 , including on their last two visits to Twickenham.

O'Sullivan, like Ashton, has made just one change following the 16-12 defeat to Wales at Croke Park.

O'Driscoll's enforced absence sees a major reshuffle of their backline, with the experienced Horgan forming a new centre combination with Andrew Trimble.

Ireland will be led by outside-half Ronan O'Gara, and O'Sullivan is aware their campaign to date has done little to dampen the criticism following a dismal World Cup campaign.

"There's a lot of opinion out there - people have to write stuff and others have plenty to say," he said.

"Some of the opinion is right - the criticism is fair - but some of it is wrong and ill-informed.

"As a coach, if you get hung up on what is being written then you'll have a miserable life."

England: I Balshaw; P Sackey, J Noon, T Flood, L Vainikolo; D Cipriani, R Wigglesworth; A Sheridan, L Mears, P Vickery (capt), S Shaw, S Borthwick, T Croft, M Lipman, N Easter (Harlequins).
Replacements: G Chuter, M Stevens, B Kay, J Haskell, P Hodgson, J Wilkinson, M Tait.

Ireland: G Murphy; T Bowe, S Horgan, A Trimble, R Kearney; R O'Gara (capt), E Reddan; M Horan, R Best, J Hayes, D O'Callaghan, P O'Connell, D Leamy, D Wallace, J Heaslip.
Replacements: B Jackman, T Buckley, M O'Driscoll, S Easterby, P Stringer, P Wallace, L Fitzgerald.