Stander shifts to flank for Ireland swansong

CJ Stander has been named at blindside flank in his last game for Ireland as coach Andy Farrell rejigs his side to face England in Dublin.

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With Stander’s retirement at the end of the season, this will be his final game for Ireland. Although an empty stadium is not the send-off he deserves, Stander will want to finish with a flourish by beating the old enemy, England.

He has been shifted from his usual No 8 position on to the side of the scrum to cover for the injured Will Connors. Stander will no doubt relish the opportunity to be used as Ireland’s primary ball-carrier.

Completing the back row, is Jack Conan who comes in at eighthman and Josh van der Flier who packs down at openside.

In other changes in the forwards, Tadgh Beirne partners Iain Henderson in the second row in the absence of the injured James Ryan. On the bench, Peter O’Mahony returns following his suspension and will look to make an impact.

In the backline, the experienced duo of Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray comprise the halfback pairing, while Bundee Aki is back, replacing the injured Garry Ringrose in the centres.

Wing James Lowe has been dropped from the match-day squad altogether, with Ulsterman Jacob Stockdale taking his place on the wing. The fleet-footed Jordan Larmour retains his place on the bench.

Ireland – 15 Hugo Keenan, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Jonathan Sexton (c), 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 CJ Stander, 5 Tadhg Beirne, 4 Iain Henderson, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Dave Kilcoyne.

Subs: 16 Ronan Kelleher, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Andrew Porter, 19 Ryan Baird, 20 Peter O’Mahony, 21 Jamison Gibson Park, 22 Billy Burns, 23 Jordan Larmour.

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