Paris match gets green light

Ireland’s RBS 6 Nations clash with France was tonight given the go-ahead after the Stade de France passed a pitch inspection by referee Dave Pearson.

Ireland’s RBS 6 Nations clash with France was tonight given the go-ahead after the Stade de France passed a pitch inspection by referee Dave Pearson.

The covers were removed two hours before the scheduled 8pm GMT kick-off time and Pearson was satisfied the playing surface was fit for purpose despite days of sub-zero temperatures.

Ireland, who named Keith Earls at outside centre in the solitary change to the team that lost to Wales, were seeking only their second victory in Paris since 1972.

Six Nations favourites France recalled Imanol Harinordoquy at openside flanker, with prop Jean-Baptiste Poux, hooker Dimitri Szarzewski and lock Yoann Maestri also given starts.

France: Medard, Clerc, Rougerie, Fofana, Malzieu, Trinh-Duc, Parra, Poux, Szarzewski, Mas, Pape, Maestri, Dusautoir, Harinordoquy, Picamoles.

Replacements: Servat, Debaty, Nallet, Bonnaire, Dupuy, Beauxis, Mermoz.

Ireland: R. Kearney, Bowe, Earls, D’Arcy, Trimble, Sexton, Murray, Healy, Best, Ross, O’Callaghan, O’Connell, Ferris, O’Brien, Heaslip.

Replacements: Cronin, Court, Ryan, O’Mahony, Reddan, O’Gara, McFadden.

Referee: Dave Pearson (RFU)

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