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Dublin: 5 °C Saturday 25 January, 2020

Byrne starts at 10 as Schmidt recalls Ireland's big guns for England

The Leinster man will get his first Test start at Twickenham on Saturday.

JOE SCHMIDT HAS handed Ross Byrne his first Test start at out-half in the Ireland team to face England in a World Cup warm-up clash at Twickenham on Saturday [KO 3pm, Sky Sports Action].

The 24-year-old Leinster man has won just two caps before now but gets a prime opportunity to impress ahead of the World Cup in what is a very strong Ireland XV.

Ross Byrne Byrne will win his third cap on Saturday. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

With Joey Carbery out injured and looking like a real doubt for the World Cup, a strong performance from Byrne – and replacement out-half Jack Carty – would be well-timed.

Schmidt has brought in big guns like Conor Murray, captain Rory Best and Rob Kearney for their first appearances of the new season as Ireland look to build momentum before their trip to Japan.

Kearney is at 15 in a back three that also includes Jacob Stockdale and Jordan Larmour, while Garry Ringrose and Bundee Aki pair up in the centres, and Byrne and Murray combine in the halfbacks.

Best is in the middle of a front row that sees Cian Healy and Tadhg Furlong start as the props, while Jean Kleyn gets his second cap in the locking department alongside Iain Henderson.

Peter O’Mahony, CJ Stander and Josh van der Flier team up in the back row.

Ireland (v 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 (captain)
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Iain Henderson
5. Jean Kleyn
6. Peter O’Mahony
7. Josh van der Flier
8. CJ Stander


16. Sean Cronin
17. Jack McGrath
18. Andrew Porter
19. Devin Toner
20. Tadhg Beirne
21. Luke McGrath
22. Jack Carty
23. Andrew Conway

- This article was updated to correct the kick-off time of Saturday’s game from 2pm to 3pm.

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Murray Kinsella

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