Joe Schmidt names squad for Six Nations clash

Sean O'Brien and Schmidt at today's training session
Sean O'Brien and Schmidt at today's training session

Sean O'Brien has been named in the Ireland team to play France in Paris this Saturday.

O'Brien returns to the starting XV after sitting out the Wales game with a hamstring injury, replacing Tommy O'Donnell who was taken off with a head injury in Sunday's 16-all draw with Wales.

There is also good news for Johnny Sexton who will partner Conor Murray at half-back, with Jared Payne again partnering Robbie Henshaw in the centre.

Rob Kearney is another to come in, taking his spot at full-back following injury but there is no place for Keith Earls after he suffered a concussion against Wales.

Leinster's Dave Kearney takes Earls' spot, while brother Rob replaces Simon Zebo.

The Munster wing is also not fit enough to make the 23-man squad due to a knee injury picked up in the drawn encounter.

Joe Schmidt stated that while both Munster players trained, they were "not 100%" so he opted against the "risk" of selecting the two backs.

Eoin Reddan and Fergus McFadden are promoted to the bench, while Richardt Strauss takes Sean Cronin's spot in Schmidt's substitutes.

Apart from Rhys Ruddock dropping out of the squad to accommodate Tommy O'Donnell's move to the bench, the team and squad are otherwise unchanged.


Ireland team to face Wales: (15-9) S R Kearney; A Trimble, J Payne, R Henshaw, D Kearney; J Sexton, C Murray; (1-8) J McGrath, R Best, N White; D Toner, M McCarthy; CJ Stander, S O'Brien, J Heaslip.

Replacements: (16-23) R Strauss, J Cronin, T Furlong, D Ryan, T O'Donnell, E Reddan, I Madigan, F McFadden.