Ireland name team to face France in Guinness Six Nations opener

31 January 2019

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Eight players from Guinness PRO14 champions Leinster feature in Ireland’s starting XV to face England in Dublin.

Joe Schmidt’s line-up for the Guinness Six Nations holders also features four men from Munster as they prepare to take to the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

Ulster’s Rory Best will captain the side and he is flanked by Leinster’s Cian Healey and Tadhg Furlong in the front row.

There’s another Leinster pair in the second row with James Ryan and Devin Toner, while Munster’s CJ Stander and Peter O’Mahony are joined by Josh van der Flier from the Guinness PRO14 champions.

It is the exact same pack as when Ireland beat New Zealand 16-9 during the Autumn Tests.

Munster’s Conor Murray is paired with Leinster’s Jonathan Sexton in the half-backs while Connacht’s only representative in the side is inside centre Bundee Aki.

Garry Ringrose, of Leinster, is at outside centre, while Jacob Stockdale (Ulster) is at left wing and Keith Earls (Munster) is out on the right.

Leinster’s Robbie Henshaw rounds off the XV at full-back, playing in the position for his country for the first time since 2013.

His teammate Sean O’Brien is named in the forward replacements alongside Sean Cronin, David Kilcoyne, Andrew Porter and Quinn Roux. John Cooney, Joey Carbery and Jordan Larmour complete the team.


Ireland XV to face England at Aviva Stadium, kick off 4.45pm on Saturday

15. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster)
14. Keith Earls (Munster)
13. Garry Ringrose (Leinster)
12. Bundee Aki (Connacht)
11. Jacob Stockdale (Ulster)
10. Jonathan Sexton (Leinster)
9. Conor Murray (Munster)

8. CJ Stander (Munster)
7. Josh van der Flier (Leinster)
6. Peter O’Mahony (Munster)
5. James Ryan (Leinster)
4. Devin Toner (Leinster)
3. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster)
2. Rory Best (c) (Ulster)
1. Cian Healey (Leinster)


16. Sean Cronin (Leinster)
17. David Kilcoyne (Munster)
18. Andrew Porter (Leinster)
19. Quinn Roux (Connacht)
20. Sean O’Brien (Leinster)
21. John Cooney (Ulster)
22. Joey Carbery (Munster)
23. Jordan Larmour (Leinster)

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