Ferris cleared for French showdown
February 11, 2010
Stephen Ferris will start for Ireland in Paris © Getty Images
Ireland have received a major boost ahead of their vital Six Nations showdown with France in Paris, with Ulster flanker Stephen Ferris passed fit to take his place in the back-row.
The British & Irish Lions tourist was given extra time to recover from a knee injury following Declan Kidney's team announcement on Tuesday, with Leinster's Kevin McLaughlin having made his Test debut in place of Ferris during last weekend's victory over Italy.
Ferris now joins David Wallace and Jamie Heaslip in the back-row, with McLaughlin missing out on the 22. Sean O'Brien has been confirmed as back-row cover on the bench, with Donncha Ryan, Rory Best and Tom Court completing the forward options. Eoin Reddan and Paddy Wallace are retained along with the returning Jonathan Sexton as Ireland's backline cover.
Munster lock Donncha O'Callaghan remains with his club as he continues to recover from a knee problem.
Ireland team to face France at the Stade de France on February 13, kick off 17.30 (local):
Rob Kearney (Leinster); Tommy Bowe (Ospreys), Brian O'Driscoll (Leinster, capt), Gordon D'Arcy (Leinster), Keith Earls (Munster); Ronan O'Gara (Munster), Tomas O'Leary (Munster); Cian Healy (Leinster), Jerry Flannery (Munster), John Hayes (Munster), Leo Cullen (Leinster), Paul O'Connell (Munster), Stephen Ferris (Ulster), David Wallace (Munster), Jamie Heaslip (Leinster)
Replacements: Rory Best (Ulster), Tom Court (Ulster), Donnacha Ryan (Munster), Sean O'Brien (Leinster), Eoin Reddan (Leinster), Jonathan Sexton (Leinster), Paddy Wallace (Ulster)
Firdose Moonda looks at the moves towards greater integration within South African rugby ... and what the future holds
Martin Gillingham looks ahead to what he believes is the most remarkable ever climax to the league phase of the Top 14
With just two rounds left in the regular season, we look at the prospects of the teams taking part in the Championship play-offs
Joe Simpson talks to Charlie Morgan about loss, Wasps and being England's game-breaker