Friday, February 12, 2021

Iain Henderson will captain Ireland for the first time against France on Saturday                                                              Photo: INPHO/Billy Stickland

The Ireland coaching group have named the side that will face France in the second round of the 2021 Guinness Six Nations Championship which includes four changes from the team that lost to Wales last week.

There’s a new half-back pairing, a new captain a cap record in the front row and one uncapped player on the bench.

Ireland captain Johnny Sexton and vice-captain James Ryan have not hit all their markers this week in the return to play protocols so are not considered for selection.

Ulster’s Iain Henderson will captain Ireland for the first time becoming the 108th player to lead Ireland and will be partnered in the row by Tadhg Beirne. The front row that started against Wales of Cian Healy, Rob Herring and Andrew Porter is retained while in the backrow Josh van der Flier and CJ Stander are joined by Rhys Ruddock who slots in on the blindside flank.

Jamison Gibson Park replaces Conor Murray, who picked up a hamstring strain in training this week, at scrumhalf and will be partnered by Billy Burns. Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose line out in the centre and Hugo Keenan will again marshal the backfield with the assistance of Keith Earls and James Lowe.

There are four changes in the replacements as Ed Byrne, Ultan Dillane, Ross Byrne and the uncapped Craig Casey come in while Ronan Kelleher, Tadgh Furlong, Will Connors and Jordan Larmour complete the bench for the weekend.


  1. Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD) 7 caps
  2. Keith Earls (Munster/Young Munster) 89 caps
  3. Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD) 31 caps
  4. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster/Buccaneers) 48 caps
  5. James Lowe (Leinster) 3 caps
  6. Billy Burns (Ulster) 4 caps
  7. Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster) 6 caps
  8. Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf) 105 caps
  9. Rob Herring (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 17 caps
  10. Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD) 33 caps
  11. Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne) 18 caps
  12. Iain Henderson (Ulster/Academy) 59 caps CAPTAIN
  13. Rhys Ruddock (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 26 caps
  14. Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD) 29 caps
  15. CJ Stander (Munster/Shannon) 47 caps


  1. Ronan Kelleher (Leinster/Lansdowne) 7 caps
  2. Ed Byrne (Leinster/UCD) 3 caps
  3. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf) 45 caps
  4. Ultan Dillane (Connacht/Corinthians) 17 caps
  5. Will Connors (Leinster/UCD) 6 caps
  6. Craig Casey (Munster/Shannon) uncapped
  7. Ross Byrne (Leinster/UCD) 11 caps

23. Jordan Larmour (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 25 caps

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