Settled Ireland take on rejigged France
February 29, 2012
Cian Healy starts for Ireland despite a fitness scare © Getty Images
France boss Philippe Saint-Andre has made two changes for Sunday's Six Nations clash with Ireland, introducing Julien Bonnaire and Clement Poitrenaud to the starting side. Bonnaire, the Clermont Auvergne flanker, starts at openside in a re-jigged loose-trio.
Toulouse No.8 Louis Picamoles drops to the bench, with his place at the base of the scrum taken by Imanol Harinordoquy.
Poitrenaud deputises for the injured Maxime Medard at fullback, having not started a Test match since last season's loss to England at Twickenham.
France have two wins from two - after clashes with Italy and Scotland - but their Murrayfield form will need to be raised if they are to keep alive their hopes of a possible Grand Slam decider with Wales in the final round of action.
Ireland boss Declan Kidney has kept faith in his side, naming an unchanged selection from the one that routed Italy last time out.
Munster lock Paul O'Connell again leads the team after a strong showing against the Azzurri, while Kidney has resisted the urge to tinker at halfback.
Conor Murray retains the scrum-half berth despite some recent criticism of his form, with Jonny Sexton at No.10 and Eoin Reddan alongside Ronan O'Gara - who last weekend became Ireland's most-capped player - on the bench.
Wingers Tommy Bowe and Andrew Trimble were both among the tries against Italy, and Keith Earls continues to deputise for Brian O'Driscoll in the No.13 jersey.
Fitness concerns over fullback Rob Kearney, flanker Sean O'Brien, centre Gordon D'Arcy and prop Cian Healy have been dismissed by the medical staff, and all four take their place in the starting line-up.
France: C Poitrenaud (Toulouse), V Clerc (Toulouse), A Rougerie (Clermont Auvergne), W Fofana (Clermont Auvergne), J Malzieu (Clermont Auvergne), F Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), M Parra (Clermont Auvergne), JB Poux (Toulouse), D Szarzewski (Stade Francais), N Mas (Perpignan), P Pape (Stade Francais), Y Maestri (Toulouse), T Dusautoir (Toulouse), J Bonnaire (Clermont Auvergne), I Harinordoquy (Biarritz)
Replacements: W Servat (Toulouse), V Debaty (Clermont Auvergne), L Nallet (Racing Metro), L Picamoles (Toulouse), J Dupuy (Stade Francais), L Beauxis (Toulouse), M Mermoz (Perpignan)
Ireland: R Kearney (Leinster); T Bowe (Ospreys), K Earls (Munster), G D'Arcy (Leinster), A Trimble (Ulster); J Sexton (Leinster), C Murray (Munster); C Healy (Leinster), R Best (Ulster), M Ross (Leinster), D O'Callaghan (Munster), P O'Connell (Munster), S Ferris (Ulster), S O'Brien (Leinster), J Heaslip (Leinster)
Replacements: S Cronin (Leinster), T Court (Ulster), D Ryan (Munster), P O'Mahony (Munster), E Reddan (Leinster), R O'Gara (Munster), F McFadden (Leinster)
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