Ben Currie says the beaming smile on his grandfather's face cushioned the disappointment of Ireland's opening World Cup defeat and justified his decision to declare for Ireland.instead of his native England.

The 19-year-old Warrington back-row forward is widely-regarded as one of the hottest prospects in Super League and was invited by England coach Steve McNamara to a get-together with his elite training squad earlier this year.

But he politely declined the invitation as he eyed up a World Cup outing with the Irish and he made his debut in Monday's 32-14 group A defeat by Fiji.

"It was a very proud moment," Currie said. "My grandad came to the game - it was the first game he's ever watched live - and the best moment was probably seeing him so happy to see me play for Ireland so it was all worth it.

"He'll be at every game, he's loving it."

That will mean a trip to Huddersfield for Ireland's second group game against England on Saturday, followed by a much anticipated trip to Limerick for the clash with Australia in Thomond Park a week later.

Currie started Monday's game at loose forward but finished it at stand-off when James Mendeika switched to full-back following the loss off Scott Grix with a leg injury and, with Grix failing to recover, that is how the Irish will line up at the John Smith's Stadium.

England will be firm favourites to get off the mark after pushing Australia so close in their opening fixture but Currie says there is a lot of improvement to come from the Ireland team.

"It was unfortunate that we didn't get a warm-up game to iron out a few things before the tournament started but we gave it a really good go against Fiji," he said.

"We were a bit rusty but we've learned from our mistakes and we're looking a lot better.

"We need to improve, although physically not many teams would have matched Fiji. We have to win so we'll be giving it our all and see what happens."

A move from the pack will remove Currie from a direct confrontation with Warrington team-mate Ben Westwood, who he identifies as one of the biggest dangers in the England team.

"It's unbelievable the amount of stuff he gets through in attack and defence," Currie said. "He he looks tired from the first minute but he seems to battle through it and get through whole games."

Ireland squad to play England: D Allen, L Ambler, B Beswick, D Blanch, D Bridge, B Currie, L Finn, S Finnigan, K Haggerty, J Hasson, R Kostjasyn, S Littler, T McCarthy, J Mendeika, A Mullally, A Pewhairangi, P Richards, J Toole, B White