FOLLOWING A SCRAPPY Six Nations win over Italy in Rome, Ireland will be looking to beat France in Dublin this Sunday [KO 3pm].
Joe Schmidt named a 37-man squad yesterday morning that had a number of surprises.
Bundee Aki looks likely to start at 12 again. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO
Ireland said this game “might come too soon” for Joey Carbery, who has been rehabbing a hamstring injury, with Leinster’s Ross Byrne called up to provide extra out-half cover.
Ulster’s Rob Herring replaces Sean Cronin, who started against Italy two weeks ago but has been dropped from the squad altogether.
Sean O’Brien was released back to Leinster last week for “conditioning” but he is back in Carton House this week, while Rhys Ruddock was also named in the squad.
Dan Leavy and Robbie Henshaw have been ruled out of the France clash.
Despite suffering a fractured cheekbone and eye socket against England, CJ Stander has been training fully this week and he will feature in some capacity this weekend.
So who does Schmidt start? After two solid performances at fullback, it’s safe to say that Rob Kearney will remain at 15.
In midfield, should Garry Ringrose be brought back in at outside centre with Bundee Aki inside or should Chris Farrell be retained at 13?
Another dilemma is the replacements bench. After a number of underperformances against Italy, should players such as Jack Conan and Kieran Marmion be given a shot in the matchday 23?
Let us know who you’d pick in Ireland’s matchday squad by leaving a comment below.
Ireland squad for France clash:
Props: Cian Healy, Dave Kilcoyne, Jack McGrath, Tadhg Furlong, Andrew Porter, John Ryan
Hookers: Rory Best, Niall Scannell, Rob Herring
Second rows: James Ryan, Quinn Roux, Iain Henderson, Tadhg Beirne, Ultan Dillane
Back rows: Peter O’Mahony, CJ Stander, Josh van der Flier, Sean O’Brien, Jack Conan, Jordi Murphy, Rhys Ruddock
Halfbacks: Conor Murray, Kieran Marmion, John Cooney, Johnny Sexton, Jack Carty, Ross Byrne, Joey Carbery
Centres: Bundee Aki, Garry Ringrose, Chris Farrell, Tom Farrell
Back threes: Rob Kearney, Jacob Stockdale, Keith Earls, Jordan Larmour, Andrew Conway
Subscribe to our new podcast, The42 Rugby Weekly, here: