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.
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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.