Johnny Sexton to miss Ireland’s World Cup warm-up against England

These weeks are all about the big show and having qualified to play for Ireland mid-way through the last World Cup Stander is determined to get to Japan and enjoy

These weeks are all about the big show and having qualified to play for Ireland mid-way through the last World Cup Stander is determined to get to Japan and enjoy

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.

After Joey Carbery's readiness for the start of next month's tournament was put in doubt by an ankle injury suffered in the tune up against Italy two weeks ago, Schmidt is testing out his depth one step further behind first-choice 10 Johnny Sexton.

The second row looks a little more experimental with Iain Henderson and Jean Kleyn paired together, the latter winning his second cap after making a good impression against Italy.

And it is the same in the back row with Peter O'Mahony, Josh van der Flier and CJ Stander all starting.

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.

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Meanwhile in the centres Bundee Aki will partner Garry Ringrose in the midfield while Jacob Stockdale, Rob Kearney and Jordan Larmour will fill out the back three.

That means Peter O'Mahony, CJ Stander and Josh van der Flier are back to make up what will likely be Ireland's World Cup backrow with the familiar names of Rory Best, Conor Murray and Tadhg Furlong returning elsewhere.

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

Follow England v Ireland via our live blog on RTÉ.ie/sport and the News Now app, or listen live on RTÉ Radio 1's Saturday Sport.

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