McCloskey and van der Flier to make Ireland debuts in Twickenham

Ireland are looking for their first Six Nations win in London since 2010

ireland, england, rugby, six nations

Stuart McCloskey. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Gary Carr

Joe Schmidt has made five changes to the Ireland team to play England in Twickenham on Saturday evening.

Two debutants enter the team with Ulster's Stuart McCloskey taking his place in the centre in place of the injured Jared Payne. Leinster flanker Josh van der Flier makes his international debut in place of the injured Sean O'Brien.

Both players made their provincial debuts in 2014 and have been rewarded with international honours despite not playing for the Wolfhounds.

Rob Kearney, Andrew Trimble and Keith Earls form Ireland's back three. Earls missed the game in Paris, due to injury and replaces the injured Dave Kearney. McCloskey joins Rob Henshaw in the centre in a youthful partnership.

Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray form the half-back partnership for the third Six Nations game in a row. They have started all of Ireland's Six Nations games together since the second game of last year's campaign.

Mike Ross returns from injury to the front row. He is joined by Leinster teammate Jack McGrath, with captain Rory Best at hooker.

In the second row, Donnacha Ryan replaces the injured Mike McCarthy. The Munster man joins Devin Toner in the pack with Connacht's Ultan Dillane expected to make his debut from the bench.

Jamie Heaslip and CJ Stander join van der Flier in the back row for the Twickenham encounter.

On the bench, Schmidt has gone for five forwards and three backs. Richardt Strauss, Nathan White and a returning Cian Healy provide front row cover. Dillane will be expected to become the third debutant of the day while Rhys Ruddock will provide cover in the back row.

Eoin Reddan and Ian Madigan are on the bench to provide backup to Murray and Sexton while the versatile Simon Zebo will be used as cover for the backs.