Ireland head coach Andy Farrell has revealed his line-up to play England with Jonathan Sexton a notable absentee due to a hamstring injury.
The Ireland captain exited the 32-9 win over Wales early and was ruled out of selection on Monday, with Leinster lock James Ryan given the nod at captain and Ross Byrne picked at fly-half for the match at Twickenham.
Byrne’s selection is a key indicator for Ireland’s outlook at No.10 for the rest of the Autumn Nations Cup should Sexton miss more time, with Freddie Burns passing HIA protocols to be named on the bench after making his debut at the Aviva Stadium.
Injury has also struck centre Robbie Henshaw, meaning Connacht centre Bundee Aki steps in to partner Chris Farrell in the Ireland midfield.
Aki started in Ireland’s Six Nations clash at Twickenham in February this year and is one of only five players who lined up in the 24-12 defeat.
Jamison Gibson-Park retains scrum-half duties as Conor Murray is left to settle for a place on the bench, while Cian Healy, CJ Stander and Peter O’Mahony all start.
Stander is a straight replacement for Josh van der Flier, as standout performer against Wales Caelan Doris stays at No.8.
Victory in Dublin saw Keith Earls make his return to the pitch in the green jersey as a replacement, and he comes in for Munster team-mate Andrew Conway on the wing with Hugo Keenan continuing at full-back.
Ireland have lost their last three contests against England and head coach Farrell was looking to end that run with a big performance on foreign soil.
“I’m excited about it. There are a few changes in there, the big one being James getting to lead this side, and for guys getting the opportunity for first starts at Twickenham,” Farrell said.
“Ross Byrne deserves it. He deserves his chance. It’s like others. How do you find out if they are ready for the big games and big occasions, without giving them a chance in the big occasions?”
Comments are closed on this article.