Haskell boost for Johnson

ENGLAND manager Martin Johnson has been boosted by the news that flanker James Haskell has been passed fit to face Ireland on Saturday.

Haskell was sent for a precautionary scan on his foot, which revealed only mild inflammation to a tendon.

Johnson played mix-and-match teams in the two warm-up games with Wales, but will use the trip to Dublin to field his strongest XV.

Captain Lewis Moody is still recovering from a knee injury, meaning Haskell could start at openside flanker. Manu Tuilagi is pushing for a starting place after his try-scoring debut, while Wasps scrum-half Joe Simpson is set to make his first Test appearance at the Aviva Stadium.