Ulster trio start as Ireland squad announced for England game at Twickenham
Four Ulster players have been included in the Ireland squad that will play England at Twickenham on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).
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Joe Schmidt has named captain Rory Best, Jacob Stockdale and Iain Henderson amongst the starters with Jack McGrath included on the bench.
Notably, there is no place for Will Addison, who has yet to play since undergoing surgery on a back injury sustained training with Ireland during the Six Nations. Instead, Bundee Aki and Garry Rinrose get the opportunity to impress at centre.
After Rob Herring and Jordi Murphy started against Italy, Addison is the only one of the seven Ulster players in the squad not feature in the first two games.
He's not alone in the overall panel as the likes of Johnny Sexton, James Ryan, Keith Earls and Dave Kilcoyne are also yet to be named in a matchday squad.
At out-half, Ross Byrne will make his first Ireland start and win only his third cap in a big opportunity for the Leinsterman as he tries to nail down a place in the World Cup squad ahead of replacement ten, Connacht's Jack Carty.
For the second game in succession, Munster's South African lock Jean Kleyn is included in the starting team, as his inclusion in the travelling party looks increasingly likely.
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Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has called on what is close to his full-strength selection as the front row mainstays have been given their first hit-out of the warm-up period, with Cian Healy and Tadhg Furlong packing down either side of captain Best.
Henderson will partner Kleyn in the second row while interestingly, Devin Toner and Tadhg Beirne are both on the bench, with the latter covering back row.
CJ Stander, Josh van der Flier and Peter O'Mahony complete an imposing pack.
Conor Murray starts at number nine beside Byrne, while the back three is made up of Rob Kearney at fullback with Jordan Larmour and Stockdale on the wing.
Ireland squad to play England
(15-9): Kearney, Larmour, Ringrose, Aki, Stockdale, Byrne, Murray
(1-8): Healy, Best, Furlong, Kleyn, Henderson, O'Mahony, van der Flier, Stander
Replacements: Cronin, J McGrath, Porter, Toner, Beirne, L McGrath, Carty, Conway.
Belfast Telegraph Digital