Six Nations 2016: Ireland's O'Brien and Kearney fit to face France

Media playback is not supported on this device

Six Nations 2016: France v Ireland preview
Six Nations: France v Ireland
Date: Saturday, 13 February Venue: Stade de France, Paris Kick-off: 14:25 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One, live commentary on Radio 5 live sports extra, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary.

Flanker Sean O'Brien and full-back Rob Kearney are back in the Ireland team for Saturday's Six Nations match against France in Paris.

Both missed last weekend's bruising 16-16 draw against Wales because of hamstring injuries.

Simon Zebo, who played full-back in that game, and winger Keith Earls are ruled out with injuries.

Earls received a blow to the head against Wales and his place goes to Dave Kearney.

Zebo had been receiving treatment for a knee injury.

O'Brien's return means Tommy O'Donnell loses his starting position and is on the replacements' bench at the Stade de France.

Podcast: Six Nations week two preview

Fly-half Johnny Sexton and winger Andrew Trimble have been passed fit, having got over knocks.

Sexton suffered a heavy blow to the chest on Sunday while Trimble had a shoulder problem.

Racing Metro winger Teddy Thomas is back in France's starting team
Racing Metro winger Teddy Thomas is back in France's starting team

France have made six changes from their narrow opening win over Italy.

Props Jefferson Poirot and Uini Atonio, lock Alexandre Flanquart, flanker Yacouba Camara, centre Maxime Mermoz and winger Teddy Thomas come into the team.

Thomas, 22, makes his return after a year-long absence with an injury he picked up against Ireland in last year's Six Nations.

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt had been forced to delay his team announcement because of fitness doubts over a number of players.

"We were just trying to clarify the fitness of Simon Zebo and Keith Earls, both of whom we have left out of the squad," Schmidt said.

Six Nations table

"They got through training and at the same time we just felt they weren't 100% fit. We just felt it was a risk."

Fergus McFadden, who was overlooked for Ireland's initial Six Nations squad, has been summoned as a replacement for Saturday.

The 29-year-old was brought into Ireland's training ranks in midweek to cover Earls' absence with suspected concussion.

Scrum-half Eoin Reddan and hooker Richardt Strauss are also on the bench, taking the places of Kieran Marmion and Sean Cronin.

France: Maxime Medard, Teddy Thomas, Maxime Mermoz; Jonathan Danty, Virimi Vakatawa; Jules Plisson, Sebastien Bezy; Jefferson Poirot, Guilhem Guirado (capt), Uini Atonio, Alexandre Flanquart, Yoann Maestri, Wenceslas Lauret, Yacouba Camara, Damien Chouly.

Replacements: Camille Chat, Rabah Slimani, Eddy Ben Arous, Paul Jedresiak, Loann Goujon, Maxime Machenaud, Jean-Marc Doussain, Hugo Bonneval.

Ireland: Rob Kearney, Andrew Trimble, Jared Payne, Robbie Henshaw, Dave Kearney, Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray; Jack McGrath, Rory Best (capt), Nathan White, Mike McCarthy, Devin Toner, CJ Stander, Sean O'Brien, Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements: Richardt Strauss, James Cronin, Tadhg Furlong, Donnacha Ryan, Tommy O'Donnell, Eoin Reddan, Ian Madigan, Fergus McFadden.

This weekend's live coverage
Sat, 13 Feb (14:25)France v IrelandBBC One & Radio 5 live Sports Extra
Sat, 13 Feb (16:50)Wales v ScotlandBBC One and Radio 5 live
Sun, 14 Feb (14:00)Italy v EnglandITV and Radio 5 live

Top Stories