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England captain Mike Tindall has been ruled out of their Six Nations Grand Slam decider againstIreland in Dublin on Saturday with an ankle injury sustained against Scotland.

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Matt Banahan, who replaced Tindall for the second half in last week's win over Scotland, will start at outside centre in an otherwise unchanged side.

David Strettle, who has not featured for England since 2008, takes Banahan's place on the bench and number eight Nick Easter will captain the team.

Tindall, himself a stand-in for injured skipper Lewis Moody, had led England to four successive wins, the first time they have achieved such consistency since the 2007 World Cup.

"It's a big blow for Mike and for us. We'll miss his leadership, his experience and his general play," manager Martin Johnson said.

"But Matt played well when he came on last week and has been in good form so it should be a pretty smooth transition."

Banahan, whose early England appearances were on the wing, produced an impressive, powerful display last week and England will not be necessarily weakened by his involvement.

At 6ft 7ins (2.01m) and 17st 8lbs (112kgs) the Jersey-born Bath player is one of the biggest backs in the game and he made an immediate impact last week when he left Kelly Brown unconscious when he steamrollered the Scotland flanker with a trademark charge a minute after joining the action.

The switch is the first change in England's backline in the tournament and with only 17 players named to start the five matches, continuity has been an important part of their progress as they bid for their first title since 2003.

Replacements Jonny Wilkinson and Steve Thompson are now the only survivors from the team who triumphed 42-6 in Ireland eight years ago to complete the grand slam.

That was the only time England have won in Dublin this century and they have lost six of their last seven games against the Irish.

"They are a team with a lot of pride and it's a great game to be involved with at the end of the tournament," Johnson added.

"For us, the more we've won the more the expectation has grown and we want to go out with a big finale.

"A winning run gives players confidence but nobody was very happy coming off the pitch after the last two games and I enjoyed that reaction.

"The edge in this game will be good for us. We just need to control it a bit and make smart decisions out there.

"It will be a tense atmosphere but to win there you just have to do the same things as you do anywhere. It's all about executing better and cutting the mistakes."

Defeat on Saturday would be unlikely to deprive England of the Six Nations title. That would only happen if Wales also won in Paris and the two results overturned England's 42-point differential.

England team:

15-Ben Foden, 14-Chris Ashton, 13-Matt Banahan, 12-Shontayne Hape, 11-Mark Cueto, 10-Toby Flood; 9-Ben Youngs, 8-Nick Easter (captain), 7-James Haskell, 6-Tom Wood, 5-Tom Palmer, 4-Louis Deacon, 3-Dan Cole, 2-Dylan Hartley, 1-Alex Corbisiero.

Replacements: 16-Steve Thompson, 17-Paul Doran-Jones, 18-Simon Shaw, 19-Tom Croft, 20-Danny Care, 21-Jonny Wilkinson, 22-David Strettle.

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