The Ireland coaching team has made just one change to the starting XV that will face Philippe Saint Andre’s France at the Stade de France on Saturday.
Munster captain Peter O’Mahony has recovered from the hamstring strain that kept him sidelined for the Italy game and returns at blindside flanker in place of Iain Henderson who reverts to the bench.
Captain Paul O’Connell wins his 92nd cap and packs down alongside Devin Toner in the second row. The 6 Nations leading front-row combination of Cian Healy, Rory Best and Mike Ross will face one of their toughest tests against Nicolas Mas and Thomas Domingo.
Johnny Sexton will again lead the backline having put his thumb strain behind him with a fine performance against Italy. Conor Murray has also fully recuperated from the illness that saw him leave the field early against the Italians. Brian O’Driscoll is set to make his 133rd appearance for Ireland.
On the bench Iain Henderson provides cover for second row with Jordi Murphy covering backrow and Rhys Ruddock dropping out of the match day 23. Ian Madigan is introduced to the bench in place of Paddy Jackson.
Highlights from today’s press conference can be viewed on IrishRugbyTV.
IRELAND Team & Replacements v France, Stade de France, Paris,
RBS 6 Nations Championship, Saturday 15th March kick-off 18:00 CET (17:00 GMT)
15. Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster) 53
14. Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster) 54
13. Brian O’Driscoll (UCD/Leinster) 132
12. Gordon D’Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster) 78
11. Dave Kearney (Lansdowne/Leinster) 6
10. Jonathan Sexton (Racing Metro 92) 42
9. Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 26
1. Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 46
2. Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) 74
3. Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster) 38
4. Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster) 14
5. Paul O’Connell (Young Munster/Munster) 91 capt
6. Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) 22
7. Chris Henry (Malone/Ulster) 13
8. Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster) 64
16. Sean Cronin (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) 34
17. Jack McGrath (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) 7
18. Martin Moore (Lansdowne/Leinster) 4
19. Iain Henderson (Ballinahinch/Ulster) 9
20. Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster) 2
21. Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster) 53
22. Ian Madigan (Blackrock/Leinster) 7
23. Fergus McFadden (Old Belvedere/Leinster) 25