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Rome starter axed by Ireland

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One starter against Italy axed as Ireland reveal training squad to face the French

Sean Cronin has paid a heavy price for his lineout troubles in Rome as the hooker has been left out the Ireland squad preparing to face France next Sunday. 

The Leinster No2 was handed a rare start for his country when chosen to step in for Rory Best against Italy. However, the Irish set-piece out of touch failed to fire and he has now been excluded.   

Elsewhere, there are call-ups for half-backs Kieran Marmion and Ross Byrne, but Robbie Henshaw definitely won’t feature after Joe Schmidt revealed the delayed identity on Wednesday morning of the 37 players he has with him in camp this week.

Henshaw hasn’t featured since a rare start at full-back in the Six Nations opener against England was compounded by the leg injury suffered in the build-up to the second match away to Scotland.

It wasn’t thought the injury would rule him out for a month, but that is what has transpired as the Leinster back will now miss his third Test match in succession.

(Continue reading below…)

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An IRFU statement on Tuesday had signalled that there could be bad news about Henshaw’s availability. “Robbie Henshaw is improving more slowly than hoped and he will continue his rehab this week,” it read.

Also out of consideration is Dan Leavy, who continues to nurse an ankle issue, but Joey Carbery’s hopes of involvement are still up in the air.

Carbery, who has had a hamstring problem, is included in the squad but Schmidt has also called up Byrne to provide cover alongside Jack Carty, who earned his first cap as the sub out-half in the win over Italy.

Elsewhere, there is a return for the fit-again Marmion, the starting scrum-half in the November win over New Zealand.

IRELAND SQUAD (v France)

Forwards (21)

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

Tadhg Beirne (Lansdowne/Munster) 4 caps

Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster) 12 caps

Ultan Dillane (Corinthians/Connacht) 13 caps

Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster) 31 caps

Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 86 caps

Iain Henderson (Queens University/Ulster) 43 caps

Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 7 caps

Dave Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster) 27 caps

Jack McGrath (St Marys College/Leinster) 54 caps

Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Ulster) 27 caps

Sean O’Brien (UCD/Leinster) 55 caps

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

Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster) 13 caps

Quinn Roux (Galwegians/Connacht) 11 caps

Rhys Ruddock (Lansdowne/Leinster) 21 caps

James Ryan (UCD/Leinster) 15 caps

John Ryan (Cork Constitution/Munster) 17 caps

Niall Scannell (Dolphin/Munster) 12 caps

CJ Stander (Shannon/Munster) 29 caps

Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster) 16 caps

Backs (16)

Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht) 15 caps

Ross Byrne (UCD/Leinster) 2 caps

Joey Carbery (Clontarf/Munster) 18 caps

Jack Carty (Buccaneers/Connacht) 1 cap

Andrew Conway (Garryowen/Munster) 11 caps

John Cooney (Terenure College/Ulster) 7 caps

Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster) 75 caps

Chris Farrell (Young Munster/Munster) 5 caps

Tom Farrell (Coolmine/Connacht) 0 caps

Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster) 89 caps

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

Kieran Marmion (Galwegians/Connacht) 24 caps

Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 70 caps

Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster) 18 caps

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

Jacob Stockdale (Lurgan/Ulster) 17 caps

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One starter against Italy axed as Ireland reveal training squad to face the French