Schmidt gives Byrne chance to book World Cup ticket

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Ross Byrne (Gallo Images)
Ross Byrne (Gallo Images)

London - Ross Byrne has the chance to book his place on the plane to Japan for the Rugby World Cup as he starts at flyhalf for Ireland in their warm-up Test against England on Saturday.

The 24-year-old Leinster playmaker is competing with Jack Carty to be the third option to first choice Johnny Sexton with regular No 2 Joey Carbery battling to recover from an ankle injury.

Ireland's first match in Japan is on September 22 against Scotland.

Byrne, who will win his third cap, will be partnered at Twickenham by first choice scrumhalf Conor Murray as coach Joe Schmidt selected a strong starting XV.

Veterans such as fullback Rob Kearney, flank Peter O'Mahony and prop Cian Healy return to a much changed starting line-up to the one that beat Italy 29-10 in their first warm-up match earlier this month.

Schmidt has selected Bundee Aki and Garry Ringrose in the centres.

Grizzled hooker Rory Best - who like Schmidt will step down after the World Cup - also returns to captain the side.       

South Africa-born lock Jean Kleyn is one of the few to start for the second successive match as he teams up with Iain Henderson in the second row.

Schmidt, though, has decided to rest Sexton and other first team regulars wing Keith Earls and lock James Ryan.

The Irish follow the England game with a double-header with this year's Six Nations Grand Slam winners Wales, in Cardiff on August 31 and then Dublin on September 7.

Teams:

England

15 Elliot Daly, 14 Joe Cokanasiga, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 Jonny May, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Tom Curry, 5 George Kruis, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Joe Marler 

Substitutes: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Courtney Lawes, 20 Mark Wilson, 21 Willi Heinz, 22 Piers Francis, 23 Jonathan Joseph

Ireland

15 Rob Kearney, 14 Jordan Larmour, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Ross Byrne, 9 Conor Murray, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Peter O'Mahony, 5 Jean Kleyn, 4 Iain Henderson, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rory Best (captain), 1 Cian Healy

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

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