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7 changes to Ireland's XV

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Ireland make 7 changes to team for France clash

Ireland have made seven changes to their starting XV for their Guinness Six Nations clash with France at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday, from the side which struggled to a 26-16 win over Italy in round 3.

Six of those have come in the pack, in the front row Tadhg Furlong is retained at tighthead, however captain Rory Best restored at hooker and Cian Healy comes in at loosehead. Niall Scannell, Dave Kilcoyne and John Ryan are the front row replacements.

There is an all-new second row Iain Henderson and James Ryan replacing the Connacht duo of Ultan Dillane and Quinn Roux, with Roux dropping out of the 23-man squad altogether.

In the backrow Sean O’Brien and Jordi Murphy are also omitted from the squad, with Josh van der Flier chosen at openside, while CJ Stander is at number 8. Backrow cover on the bench is provided by Jack Conan.

In the backline the sole change sees Garry Ringrose named at outside centre, in place of Chris Farrell, who also fails to make the 23.

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Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton get another chance to reclaim some form. John Cooney has fended off Kieran Marmion to provide scrum half cover, while Joey Carbery hasn’t recovered recovered from a hamstring injury which means that Connacht’s Jack Carty has a chance to claim his second cap from the bench. Versatile Leinster back Jordan Larmour is also among the replacements.

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

Replacments:
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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Ireland make 7 changes to team for France clash