Stuart McCloskey and Josh van der Flier make Ireland debuts

Ulster centre Stuart McCloskey will make his Ireland debut in Saturday's Six Nations match against England
Ulster centre Stuart McCloskey will make his Ireland debut in Saturday's Six Nations match against England
Six Nations: England v Ireland
Venue: Twickenham Date: Saturday 27 February Kick-off: 16:50 GMT
Coverage: Live on ITV, commentary on BBC Radio 5 live & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary.

Uncapped Stuart McCloskey and Josh van der Flier will make their Ireland debuts in Saturday's Six Nations match against England at Twickenham.

McCloskey starts at inside centre in place of injured Ulster team-mate Jared Payne with Robbie Henshaw moving to 13.

Leinster's Van der Flier comes in at open-side flanker for the injured Sean O'Brien and, like McCloskey, has been rewarded for excellent provincial form.

Keith Earls starts on the wing in the absence of injured Dave Kearney.

Payne has succumbed to the hamstring injury sustained in the defeat by France in Paris two weeks ago, which prevented him from training fully this week.

Ireland's starting fifteen to play England in Saturday's Six Nations match at Twickenham
Ireland's starting fifteen to play England in Saturday's Six Nations match at Twickenham

Ireland trio Kearney, O'Brien and Mike McCarthy were last week ruled out for the remainder of the tournament.

Head coach Joe Schmidt hinted that he would consider trying out several new players, with a successful Six Nations defence now "a long shot" for Ireland following the draw with Wales and defeat by France.

In-form McCloskey has established himself in the inside centre position for Ulster this season, starting in 16 of his 18 appearances to date.

The 23-year-old now forms a hugely powerful midfield partnership with Henshaw.

This weekend's live TV and radio coverage
Six Nations coverage on the BBC
Fri, 26 Feb (20:05 GMT)Wales v FranceBBC One & Radio 5 live
Sat, 27 Feb (14:25 GMT)Italy v ScotlandITV & 5 live sports extra
Sat, 27 Feb (16:50 GMT)England v IrelandITV & Radio 5 live

Van der Flier has cemented a place in Leinster's back row this season.

The 22-year-old's physicality and industry at the breakdown has earned him 10 starts and four more appearances off the bench.

Another uncapped player, Connacht second row Ultan Dillane, has been named among the replacements.

Ireland replacements: R Strauss, C Healy, N White, U Dillane, R Ruddock, E Reddan, I Madigan, S Zebo.

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Ireland coach Joe Schmidt explains the selection of Stuart McCloskey

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