Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has announced the team that will take on France in the defending champions’ first home game of the 2015 RBS 6 Nations Championship.
Jamie Heaslip and Jonathan Sexton are the two changes to the starting line-up named for last weekend’s 26-3 win over Italy in Rome.
Paul O’Connell captains his country for the 20th time and is partnered in the second row by Devin Toner. The front-row is made up of Jack McGrath, Mike Ross and hooker Rory Best who will be making his 80th Ireland appearance.
The returning Heaslip, who is set for his 70th Irish cap, joins Peter O’Mahony in the back row alongside Sean O’Brien who has recovered from the hamstring injury that saw him miss the Italy game.
Conor Murray and Sexton are reunited at half-back, while Robbie Henshaw and Jared Payne continue their centre partnership and the back-three is also unchanged with full-back Rob Kearney flanked by Tommy Bowe and Simon Zebo.
The fit-again Cian Healy, who has not played for Ireland since last March’s win over France in Paris, features in the replacements alongside Sean Cronin, Martin Moore, Iain Henderson, Jordi Murphy, Isaac Boss, Ian Madigan and Felix Jones.
Ireland’s Championship clash with France will be followed at the Aviva Stadium by the Ulster Bank Club International between the Ireland Club team and their French counterparts. The latter game kicks off at 8pm and tickets are available from ticketmaster.ie.
IRELAND Team & Replacements (v France, 2015 RBS 6 Nations Championship, Aviva Stadium, Saturday, February 14, kick-off 5pm):
15. Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster)
14. Tommy Bowe (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster)
13. Jared Payne (Ulster)
12. Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Connacht)
11. Simon Zebo (Cork Constitution/Munster)
10. Jonathan Sexton (Racing Metro 92)
9. Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster)
1. Jack McGrath (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
2. Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster)
3. Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster)
4. Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster)
5. Paul O’Connell (Young Munster/Munster) (capt)
6. Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster)
7. Sean O’Brien (UCD/Leinster)
8. Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster)
16. Sean Cronin (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
17. Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)
18. Martin Moore (Lansdowne/Leinster)
19. Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster)
20. Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster)
21. Isaac Boss (Terenure College/Leinster)
22. Ian Madigan (Blackrock College/Leinster)
23. Felix Jones (Shannon/Munster)