Ross Byrne starts at fly-half as Ireland make four changes for England clash

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell has made four changes to his starting XV for the Autumn Nations Cup game England.

Fly-half Ross Byrne will make his first Ireland start since August 2019 in Saturday’s clash, while Jamison Gibson-Park retains the scrum-half role ahead of Conor Murray.

Byrne, whose only previous start came in a 57-15 drubbing at Twickenham before last year’s World Cup, has been given the nod to replace injured captain Johnny Sexton and win his ninth cap ahead of fellow international rookie Billy Burns.

Long-serving scrum-half Murray must again be content with a place on the bench after New Zealand-born Gibson-Park impressed in Friday’s 32-9 victory over Wales.

Centre Bundee Aki replaces the injured Robbie Henshaw in midfield, with flanker CJ Stander and winger Keith Earls the other men recalled by Farrell.

Lock James Ryan has been confirmed as stand-in captain after veteran Sexton was ruled out with a hamstring problem sustained against the Welsh.

Meanwhile, Burns, who represented England at U20 level, has been named among the replacements against the country of his birth having made his debut from the bench last time out.

Lock Iain Henderson and full-back Jacob Stockdale are back among the replacements after fitness issues kept them sidelined last week.

Winger Andrew Conway and flanker Josh Van Der Flier – who started the win over Wayne Pivac’s men – drop out of the squad completely.

Ireland: 15 Hugo Keenan, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 James Lowe, 10 Ross Byrne, 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 1 Cian Healy, 2 Ronan Kelleher, 3 Andrew Porter, 4 Quinn Roux, 5 James Ryan, 6 CJ Stander, 7 Peter O’Mahony, 8 Caelan Doris,

Replacements: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Ed Byrne, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 Iain Henderson, 20 Will Connors, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Billy Burns, 23 Jacob Stockdale

Source: Read Full Article