Monday 16 September 2019

Big calls made at out-half, second row and centre as Joe Schmidt confirms Ireland team to face England

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt during the Guinness Summer Series 2019 match between Ireland and Italy at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt during the Guinness Summer Series 2019 match between Ireland and Italy at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Will Slattery

Will Slattery

Ross Byrne will make his first Ireland start in Saturday's World Cup warm-up game against England.

It will be Byrne's third international cap, and a big opportunity for the Leinster out-half as he tries to nail down a place in the World Cup squad ahead of replacement ten, Connacht's Jack Carty.

Other interesting selections decisions come in the centre and at second row. For the second game in succession, Munster's South African lock Jean Kleyn is included in the starting team, as his inclusion in the travelling party looks increasingly likely.

At centre, with all four of his main options fit, Schmidt had a tough call to make and has opted for Bundee Aki and Garry Ringrose.

The Ireland head coach has called on what is close to his full-strength selection, although key men such as Johnny Sexton, James Ryan and Keith Earls have been rested.

The front row mainstays have been given their first hit-out of the warm-up period, with Cian Healy and Tadhg Furlong packing down either side of captain Rory Best.

Iain Henderson will partner Kleyn in the second row while interestingly, Devin Toner and Tadhg Beirne are both on the bench, with the latter covering back row.

CJ Stander, Josh van der Flier and Peter O'Mahony complete an imposing pack.

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Conor Murray starts at number nine beside Ross Byrne, while the back three is made up of Rob Kearney at fullback and Jordan Larmour and Jacob Stockdale on the wing.

Ireland take on England in Twickenham this Saturday and the game kicks off at 3pm.

Ireland team to face England

15. Rob Kearney

14. Jordan Larmour

13. Garry Ringrose

12. Bundee Aki

11. Jacob Stockdale

10. Ross Byrne

9. Conor Murray

1. Cian Healy

2. Rory Best (C)

3. Tadhg Furlong

4. Iain Henderson

5. Jean Kleyn

6. Peter O'Mahony

7. Josh van der Flier

8. CJ Stander

 

Replacements

16. Sean Cronin

17. Jack McGrath

18. Andrew Porter

19. Devin Toner

20. Tadhg Beirne

21. Luke McGrath

22. Jack Carty

23. Andrew Conway

More to follow...

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