Joe Schmidt gives young guns their chance against England

Joe Schmidt gives young guns their chance against England
After impressing for Ulster Stuart McCloskey gets his start against England.

Joe Schmidt has named his starting side for this weekend’s match and the big news is that both Josh van der Flier and Stuart McCloskey will make their debuts against England.

With Jared Payne not risked in the matchday squad, McCloskey will be given a chance to prove his credentials in the centre. Robbie Henshaw moves to outside centre for the game.

Ireland travel to Twickenham in search of a first win of the tournament so far and will be boosted by the return of Mike Ross to the front row.

Ireland's Josh van der Flier in action during squad training today. Picture: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE
Ireland's Josh van der Flier in action during squad training today. Picture: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE

With Sean O’Brien ruled out for the remainder of the campaign, Leinster’s rising star Josh van der Flier comes in alongside CJ Stander and Jamie Heaslip in the back row.

With Rob Kearney, Andrew Trimble and Keith Earls making up the back three, Simon Zebo has been named on the bench.

Cian Healy and Ultan Dillane have also been named among the replacements.

Ireland team: 15. Rob Kearney, 14. Andrew Trimble, 13. Robbie Henshaw, 12. Stuart McCloskey, 11. Keith Earls, 10. Johnny Sexton, 9. Conor Murray; 1. Jack McGrath, 2. Rory Best - capt., 3. Mike Ross, 4. Donnacha Ryan, 5. Devin Toner, 6. CJ Stander, 7. Josh van der Flier, 8. Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements: Richard Strauss, Cian Healy, Nathan White, Ultan Dillane, Rhys Ruddock, Eoin Reddan, Ian Madigan, Simon Zebo.

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