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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Harry Latham-Coyle

Ireland vs France line-ups: Team news ahead of Six Nations fixture

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Ireland host France in a potentially crucial Six Nations clash on the second weekend of the tournament.

The top two ranked men’s sides in the world, France narrowly squeezed out Ireland in Paris last year on their way to Grand Slam triumph.

Ireland will therefore be seeking a dose of revenge as they begin to eye their own championship clean sweep.

Andy Farrell’s side began their campaign in superb fashion, with a dominant opening half-hour powering a comfortable win against Wales, while France survived a significant scare against Italy to extend a 14-match unbeaten run. Here’s everything you need to know:

What is the team news?

Johnny Sexton has been declared fit to play for Ireland after missing last year’s meeting between these two teams. The fly-half and captain had suffered a dead leg during the second half of the win against Wales, but is ready to lead his side in a potential championship decider.

There is worse news for Andy Farrell on Tadhg Furlong, Cian Healy and Jamison Gibson-Park though – both props and the scrum half are still out after missing Ireland’s Six Nations opener through injury, with Finlay Bealham, Andrew Porter and Conor Murray again starting in their stead. Another injury blow has seen Dan Sheehan miss out with a hamstring injury, so Rob Herring starts at hooker and Ronan Kelleher, himself returning from injury, comes on to the bench in the only changes to the 23.

Continuing a season of significant injury woes, France wing Gabin Villiere has reportedly undergone surgery on a fractured shin, with Ethan Dumortier continuing in the back three after a try-scoring debut against Italy. Jonathan Danty and Cameron Woki are two first-choice starters currently unavailable to Fabien Galthie, who has stuck with the same starting side despite an up-and-down performance in Rome.

Changes have been made on the bench though, with Toulouse back-rower Francois Cros and Lyon scrum-half Baptiste Couilloud replacing La Rochelle lock Thomas Lavault and Racing 92 No 9 Nolann Le Garrec

Confirmed line-ups

Ireland XV: 15. Hugo Keenan; 14. Mack Hansen, 13. Garry Ringrose, 12. Stuart McCloskey, 11. James Lowe; 10. Johnny Sexton (capt), 9. Conor Murray; 1. Andrew Porter, 2. Rob Herring, 3. Finlay Bealham; 4. Tadhg Beirne, 5. James Ryan; 6. Peter O’Mahony, 7. Josh van der Flier, 8. Caelan Doris

Replacements: 16. Ronan Kelleher, 17. Dave Kilcoyne, 18. Tom O’Toole, 19. Iain Henderson, 20. Jack Conan, 21. Craig Casey, 22. Ross Byrne, 23. Bundee Aki

France XV: 15. Thomas Ramos; 14. Damian Penaud, 13. Gael Fickou, 12. Yoram Moefana, 11. Ethan Dumortier; 10. Romain Ntamack, 9. Antoine Dupont (capt); 1. Cyril Baille, 2. Julien Marchand, 3. Uini Atonio;4. Thibaud Flament, 5. Paul Willemse; 6. Anthony Jelonch, 7. Charles Ollivon, 8. Gregory Alldritt

Replacements: 16. Gaetan Barlot, 17. Reda Wardi, 18. Sipili Falatea, 19. Romain Taofifenua, 20. Francois Cros, 21. Sekou Macalou, 22. Baptiste Couilloud, 23. Matthieu Jalibert

When is Ireland vs France?

Ireland vs France is due to kick off at 2.15pm GMT on Saturday 11 February at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

How can I watch it?

The match is due to be shown live on ITV1, with coverage from 1.25pm GMT. Registered users can stream the game via ITVX.

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