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O’Brien returns as Schmidt picks strong Ireland XV for visit to England

Tadhg Furlong will provide loosehead cover from the bench with Cian Healy still missing.

JOE SCHMIDT HAS named a strong XV for Ireland’s final World Cup warm-up game against England at Twickenham on Saturday (KO 2.30pm).

Tommy Bowe and Dave Kearney are on the wings with Simon Zebo at fullback, while Jared Payne and Robbie Henshaw renew their centre partnership.

Joe Schmidt Schmidt has opted for a strong Ireland team to visit London. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton continue as the halfbacks, while Sean O’Brien comes into the back row at openside flanker alongside Peter O’Mahony and Jamie Heaslip.

Paul O’Connell and Devin Toner are reunited in a proven lock pairing, while Mike Ross, Rory Best and Jack McGrath form the front row.

Schmidt has resisted the temptation to include Cian Healy on the Ireland bench, with Tadhg Furlong instead set to provide the loosehead cover. Richardt Strauss, Nathan White, Donnacha Ryan, Chris Henry, Eoin Reddan, Ian Madigan and Darren Cave are also in reserve.

Ireland (v England):

15. Simon Zebo
14. Tommy Bowe
13. Jared Payne
12. Robbie Henshaw
11. Dave Kearney
10. Johnny Sexton
9. Conor Murray

1. Jack McGrath
2. Rory Best
3. Mike Ross
4. Devin Toner
5. Paul O’Connell (captain)
6. Peter O’Mahony
7. Sean O’Brien
8. Jamie Heaslip

Replacements:

16. Richardt Strauss
17. Tadhg Furlong
18. Nathan White
19. Donnacha Ryan
20. Chris Henry
21. Eoin Reddan
22. Ian Madigan
23. Darren Cave

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