Six Nations: Ireland name an unchanged team for France game

Conor Murray
Conor Murray retains his place in the Ireland line-up

SIX NATIONS: FRANCE v IRELAND

Venue:
Stade de France, Paris
Date:
Sunday, 4 March
Kick-off:
1500 GMT
Coverage:
Live coverage on BBC One and the BBC Sport website; also live on BBC 5 live Sports Extra and BBC Radio Ulster MW

Ireland have named an unchanged team for Sunday's rearranged Six Nations match against France in Paris.

Irish coach Declan Kidney has resisted the temptation to include scrum-half Eoin Reddan, who impressed after coming on as a replacement against Italy.

Rob Kearney, Gordon D'Arcy, Cian Healy and Sean O'Brien have all overcome minor knocks and are included in the starting XV.

The game was postponed on 11 February because of a frozen pitch.

Kearney had been suffering from a slight groin injury while D'Arcy took a blow to the shoulder during the convincing win over the Italians.

Healy has been training regularly after receiving a blow to the jaw, while O'Brien also trained this week after having a scan on an ankle injury.

"The players are better for having 80 minutes under their belts after a two-week break," said Kidney.

"The end result of our deliberations is an unchanged team but there was a fair bit of analysing and weighing up done before that decision was reached.

"The lads who came on had strong claims for a place as they made a positive impact and did exceptionally well after they came on."

Irish captain Paul O'Connell added that the French "are deadly if you give them an opportunity".

"You can't turn over easy ball to them as they are very dangerous," said the Munster lock.

"We played well against Italy, especially in the second half, and there has been a good intensity to our training.

"It will be a hostile environment in Paris but we are bringing plenty of experience and although it will be a tough challenge, it is one we are looking forward to."

France have won their opening two games against Italy and Scotland while Ireland lost to Wales, but then saw off the Italians in Dublin.

Ireland: R Kearney; T Bowe, K Earls, G D'Arcy, A Trimble; J Sexton, C Murray; C Healy, R Best, M Ross; D O'Callaghan, P O'Connell; S Ferris, S O'Brien, J Heaslip.

Replacements: S Cronin, T Court, D Ryan, P O'Mahony, E Reddan, R O'Gara, F McFadden.

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