28/03/02.Rob Henderson and Keith Wood are named in a 24 strong Ireland squad from which the side to play France will be selected for the final game in this year’s Six Nations championship.
Wood will play for his club Harlequins on Sunday before flying to Ireland to join up with squad at their hotel in Delgany. Mullins is expected to play with Young Munster in their final AIB League game against Lansdowne. If both players come through those games successfully then it is likely that Wood will lead the side in Paris with Henderson on the bench.
The Ireland team will be announced at the Glenview Hotel, Delgany at approx 12:30 on Tuesday next, March 19th, following an open training session at Greystones RFC from 11:15 am to 11:45 approx.
Forwards: Shane Byrne (Leinster), Peter Clohessy (Munster), Simon Easterby (Llanelli), Anthony Foley (Munster), John Hayes (Munster), Gary Longwell (Ulster), Eric Miller (Leinster), Paul O’Connell (Munster), Malcolm O’Kelly (Leinster), Frank Sheahan (Munster), David Wallace (Munster), Paul Wallace (Leinster), Keith Wood (Harlequins).
Backs: Girvan Dempsey (Leinster), Guy Easterby (Llanelli), Rob Henderson (Munster), Denis Hickie (Leinster), Shane Horgan (Leinster), Tyrone Howe (Ulster), David Humphreys (Ulster), John Kelly (Munster), Brian O’Driscoll (Leinster), Ronan O’Gara (Munster), Peter Stringer (Munster).
Meanwhile, French coach Bernard Laporte will keep faith with the side that started against Scotland in their recent Six Nations clash although there is a return from injury to the French squad for fullback Clement Poitrenaud, lock David Auradou and prop Pieter De Villiers. Also named in a 26-man squad is prop Sylvain Marconnet despite an injury to his ribs as well as centre Stephane Glas. France will win only their seventh Grand Slam should they beat the Irish in Paris on April 6.
Forwards: Jean-Jacques Crenca (Agen), Pieter De Villiers (Stade Frangais), Jean-Baptiste Poux (Narbonne), Sylvain Marconnet (Stade Frangais), Raphakl Ibaqez (Castres), Olivier Azam (Gloucester/Eng), David Auradou (Stade Frangais), Olivier Brouzet (Northampton), Fabien Pelous (Stade Toulousain), Thibault Privat (Biziers), Serge Betsen (Biarritz), Olivier Magne (Montferrand), Imanol Harinordoquy (Pau), Remy Martin (Stade Frangais).
Backs: Fabien Galthii (Stade Frangais), Pierre Mignoni (Biziers), Gerald Merceron (Montferrand), Frangois Gelez (Agen), Damien Traille (Pau), Tony Marsh (Montferrand), David Bory (Montferrand), Aurilien Rougerie (Montferrand), Nicolas Brusque (Biarritz), Jimmy Marlu (Montferrand), Clement Poitrenaud (Stade Toulousain), Stephane Glas (Bourgoin).