Rory Best backs new faces in the squad to shine for Ireland for the next decade

The Ireland captain highlighted the role played by the young players who have joined up with the squad for the game against England

Stuart McCloskey, Ultan Dillane, Josh van der Flier

Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Still without a win in the Six Nations, head coach Joe Schmidt shook things up a bit as he named a number of new faces to the squad for the game against England in Twickenham. 

The task is a big one for Ireland, as they face an England side who have yet to concede a try in the tournament, but speaking at the captain's run on Friday, Best hailed the boost given to the whole squad from the young players who have been called into the squad.

Stuart McCloskey and Josh van der Flier are in line to start against England, while Ultan Dillane is expected to feature from the bench at some stage in proceedings. 

Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Speaking about Van der Flier, Best said that "to play against him, he's a handful. He's good at the breakdown and he's very combative, not only in the breakdown, but carrying the ball. You can sort of tell with these players, like when Conor Murray came into the Ireland squad as a really young kid.

"He wasn't the best player there, but you could just tell there was something about him. It's the same with Josh, there's just something about him that you know he's going to be a quality player". 

Best added that, having trained with Van der Flier, he knows that he's going to pay great attention to detail and will rarely make an error, and that "I'm really looking forward to playing alongside him". 

He noted that both he and McCloskey will bring something new to the starting lineup for the opposition, but it remains to be seen how they will react in a test match arena.

Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

"That does bring a bit of the unknown [...] but as far as I’m concerned they’re two quality guys and two quality players, and the same with Ultan [Dillane] coming off the bench.

"There's a little bit of youth there, and there are guys that are getting a chance. The like of Josh and Stuart and Ultan, they can be wearing an Ireland shirt for maybe 10 or 12 years now, if they really put their hand up and grab it, and that’s their opportunity".