Six Nations Rugby – Ireland starting team to play France – Kick-off 3pm Sunday

Andy Farrell has named his Ireland starting team to play France in the second game of the 2021 Six Nations, Kick-off 3pm Sunday.

The Ireland coaching group have named the side that will face France in round 2 of the 2021 Guinness Six Nations Championship.

There’s a new half-back pairing, a new captain a cap record in the front row and one uncapped player on the bench.

Ulster’s Iain Henderson will captain Ireland for the first time, becoming the 108th player to lead Ireland. He will be partnered in the second row by Tadhg Beirne.

The front row that started against Wales of Cian HealyRob Herring and Andrew Porter is retained. Healy will win his 106th cap taking him ahead of John Hayes (105) as Ireland’s most capped prop.

In the backrow Josh van der Flier and CJ Stander are joined by Rhys Ruddock who slots in on the blindside flank.

Conor Murray picked up a hamstring strain in training this week and has been ruled out of this game. Jamison Gibson Park comes in to start at 9 and will partner Billy Burns.

Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose line out in the centre and the back three is unchanged with  Hugo Keenan at fullback flanked by  Keith Earls and James Lowe.

There are four changes in the replacements as Ed Byrne, Ultan Dillane, Ross Byrne and the uncapped Craig Casey come in while Ronan Kelleher, Tadgh Furlong, Will Connors and Jordan Larmour complete the bench for the weekend.

IRELAND Team & Replacements (v France, 2021 Guinness Six Nations Championship, Aviva Stadium, Sunday, February 14, kick-off 3pm):

Player/Club/Province/Caps –

15. Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD) 7 caps
14. Keith Earls (Munster/Young Munster) 89 caps
13. Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD) 31 caps
12. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster/Buccaneers) 48 caps
11. James Lowe (Leinster) 3 caps
10. Billy Burns (Ulster) 4 caps
9. Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster) 6 caps
1. Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf) 105 caps
2. Rob Herring (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 17 caps
3. Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD) 33 caps
4. Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne) 18 caps
5. Iain Henderson (Ulster/Academy) 59 caps CAPTAIN
6. Rhys Ruddock (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 26 caps
7. Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD) 29 caps
8. CJ Stander (Munster/Shannon) 47 caps

Replacements

16. Ronan Kelleher (Leinster/Lansdowne) 7 caps
17. Ed Byrne (Leinster/UCD) 3 caps
18. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf) 45 caps
19. Ultan Dillane (Connacht/Corinthians) 17 caps
20. Will Connors (Leinster/UCD) 6 caps
21. Craig Casey (Munster/Shannon) uncapped
22. Ross Byrne (Leinster/UCD) 11 caps
23. Jordan Larmour (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 25 caps