Van der Flier starts for Ireland against England
February 25, 2016 12:00 am client
The Ireland team to face England at Twickenham in the 6 Nations has been named.
Josh van der Flier will start at openside flanker and earn his first senior international cap in Twickenham on Saturday.
The 22-year-old, who played schools rugby with Wesley College and plays his club rugby with UCD, made his Leinster debut against Zebre back in October 2014. Van der Flier featured on five more occasions in that campaign, which was also his last season in the Leinster Academy.
The current season has seen van der Flier make 14 appearances for Leinster, including a try-scoring Champions Cup debut against Bath at the Recreation Ground last November.
The young flanker also started the back-to-back games against Toulon in the Champions Cup and scored his second Leinster try in the win over Connacht on New Year’s Day at the RDS Arena.
Van der Flier will be joined in the back row by Leinster team-mate Jamie Heaslip and Munster’s CJ Stander.
Rory Best will captain Ireland and is joined in the front row by Jack McGrath and Mike Ross. The second row sees Donnacha Ryan come in to partner Devin Toner.
The halfbacks are Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton with Robbie Henshaw shifting to outside centre and new cap Stuart McCloskey filling the number 12 shirt. Keith Earls returns to join Andrew Trimble and Rob Kearney in the back three.
IRELAND team to play England – Saturday 27th February, 2016, 6 Nations Championship
15. Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster)
14. Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster)
13. Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Connacht)
12. Stuart McCloskey (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
11. Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster)
10. Jonathan Sexton (St Mary’s College/Leinster)
9. Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster)
1. Jack McGrath (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
2. Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) Captain
3. Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster)
4. Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster)
5. Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster)
6. CJ Stander (Munster)
7. Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster)
8. Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster) Vice-captain
16. Richard Strauss (Old Wesley/Leinster)
17. Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)
18. Nathan White (Connacht)
19. Ultane Dillane (Corinthians/Connacht)
20. Rhys Ruddock (St Mary’s College/Leinster)
21. Eoin Reddan (Old Crescent/Leinster)
22. Ian Madigan (Blackrock College/Leinster)
23. Simon Zebo (Cork Con/Munster)