Ross Byrne starts at fly-half for Ireland against England
Watch England vs Ireland live on Sky Sports Action on Saturday from 2pm
By Michael Kelleher
Last Updated: 23/08/19 8:59am
Joe Schmidt has handed Ross Byrne a major opportunity to stake a claim for a place in Ireland's World Cup squad by picking him to start at fly-half against England at Twickenham on Saturday.
In total, Schmidt has made 12 changes to the side that defeated Italy 29-10 in their first World Cup warm-up match on August 10. Only Jean Kleyn, Garry Ringrose and Jordan Larmour - who moves from full-back to right wing - are retained from that starting XV.
Joey Carbery, the presumed back-up to Jonathan Sexton at fly-half for Ireland, suffered an ankle injury against Italy and is a question mark to be fit for Ireland's World Cup opener against Scotland on September 22.
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Byrne and Connacht's Jack Carty, who is on the bench against England, have been vying for third-choice in the pecking order but the Leinster fly-half will have a chance to move ahead in that race if he impresses on Saturday, in what will be just his third appearance for Ireland.
Kleyn will have another chance to convince Schmidt he deserves to travel to Japan as he starts alongside Iain Henderson in the second row. The South African-born lock made his debut for Ireland against Italy after qualifying to play for Ireland earlier this month following the completion of his three-year residency.
Ireland: 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
Watch England vs Ireland live on Sky Sports Action from 2pm this Saturday.