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Victory in Ireland vital ( Robinson.

England coach Andy Robinson admits that Sunday's RBS 6 Nations clash against Ireland is a "must-win game" for the ailing world champions.

England have lost eight of their last 11 Tests, and the last time they won away was at Murrayfield a year ago when Scotland were brushed aside 35-13.

So the Lansdowne Road form guide suggests an Irish triumph. When England leave for Dublin tomorrow afternoon, they will travel as huge underdogs.

But Robinson has refused to press the panic button following the painful 18-17 loss to France 10 days ago, making just one enforced change by replacing broken-arm victim Phil Vickery with Bath prop Matt Stevens, who is handed his first international start.

Newcastle's Jamie Noon retains his place after a solid performance against France.

Bath forward Stevens, 22, normally packs down at loosehead for his club, but he now becomes England's third different tighthead in three games, with Vickery absent and Leicester's Julian White currently sidelined because of a neck injury.

"This game against Ireland will be massive," acknowledged Robinson. "It is a must-win game."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 23, 2005
Words:178
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