Schmidt makes seven changes to Ireland team to face France

Schmidt makes seven changes to Ireland team to face France

Joe Schmidt has made seven changes to the Ireland team to face France in Sunday's Six Nations clash.

Six of the changes come in the pack, including returns for Iain Henderson and James Ryan in the second-row. They replace Ultan Dillane and Quinn Roux.

CJ Stander has returned to fitness and is handed a recall at number 8 in place of Jordi Murphy. Sean O'Brien is also dropped, with Josh van der Flier preferred alongside Stander and Peter O'Mahony.

Captain Rory Best and Cian Healy resume their roles in the front-row alongside Tadhg Furlong, with Dave Kilcoyne and the dropped Sean Cronin omitted.

The other change comes in the backline, where the fit-again Garry Ringrose replaces Chris Farrell. He partners Bundee Aki, while Rob Kearney, Keith Earls, and Jacob Stockdale make up the back-three.

With Joey Carbery injured, Jack Carty retains his spot on the bench as back-up for Johnny Sexton, who partners scrum-half Conor Murray.

John Cooney and Jordan Larmour provide the other backline options, while Jack Conan, Dillane, John Ryan, Kilcoyne, and Niall Scannell make up the rest of the replacements.

Ireland (v France)

15. Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster) 89 caps

14. Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster) 75 caps

13. Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster) 18 caps

12. Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht) 15 caps

11. Jacob Stockdale (Lurgan/Ulster) 17 caps

10. Jonathan Sexton (St Marys College/Leinster) 81 caps (vc)

9. Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 70 caps

1. Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 86 caps

2. Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) 115 caps (c)

3. Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster) 31 caps

4. Iain Henderson (Queens University/Ulster) 43 caps

5. James Ryan (UCD/Leinster) 15 caps

6. Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) 55 caps (vc)

7. Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster) 16 caps

8. CJ Stander (Shannon/Munster) 29 caps

Replacements

16. Niall Scannell (Dolphin/Munster) 12 caps

17. Dave Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster) 27 caps

18. John Ryan (Cork Constitution/Munster) 17 caps

19. Ultan Dillane (Corinthians/Connacht) 13 caps

20. Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster) 12 caps

21. John Cooney (Terenure College/Ulster) 7 caps

22. Jack Carty (Buccaneers/Connacht) 1 cap

23. Jordan Larmour (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 11 caps

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