The Ireland team to play France – Sunday February, 14, 2021, in 2021 Guinness 6 Nations Championships has been named without Ireland captain Johnny Sexton and vice-captain James Ryan, booth have not hit all their markers this week in the return to play protocols so are not considered for selection.
Ulster’s Iain Henderson will captain Ireland for the first time and will be partnered in the row by Tadhg Beirne. The front row that started against Wales of Cian Healy, Rob Herring and Andrew Porter is retained while in the backrow Josh van der Flier and CJ Stander are joined by Rhys Ruddock who slots in on the blindside flank.
Jamison Gibson Park (Conor Murray out with a hamstring) partners Billy Burns in the half-backs, Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose line out in the centre and Hugo Keenan will again marshal the backfield with the assistance of Keith Earls and James Lowe.
There are four changes in the replacements as Ed Byrne, Ultan Dillane, Ross Byrne and the uncapped Craig Casey come in while Ronan Kelleher, Tadgh Furlong, Will Connors and Jordan Larmour complete the bench for the weekend.
15. Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD) 7 caps; 14. Keith Earls (Munster/Young Munster) 89 caps, 13. Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD) 31 caps, 12. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster/Buccaneers) 48 caps, 11. James Lowe (Leinster) 3 caps; 10. Billy Burns (Ulster) 4 caps, 9. Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster) 6 caps; 1. Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf) 105 caps, 2. Rob Herring (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 17 caps, 3. Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD) 33 caps; 4. Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne) 18 caps, 5. Iain Henderson (Ulster/Academy) 59 caps CAPTAIN; 6. Rhys Ruddock (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 26 caps, 7. Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD) 29 caps, 8. CJ Stander (Munster/Shannon) 47 caps.
Replacements: 16. Ronan Kelleher (Leinster/Lansdowne) 7 caps; 17. Ed Byrne (Leinster/UCD) 3 caps; 18. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf) 45 caps; 19. Ultan Dillane (Connacht/Corinthians) 17 caps; 20. Will Connors (Leinster/UCD) 6 caps; 21. Craig Casey (Munster/Shannon) uncapped; 22. Ross Byrne (Leinster/UCD) 11 caps; 23. Jordan Larmour (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 25 caps.
The game at Aviva Stadium, Dublin, KO 3 pm.
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