Keith Earls

Back in the game: Keith Earls returns to the Ireland starting line-up for Saturday's match in Paris

KEITH EARLS returns to the Ireland team for their Six Nations game against France on Saturday night in Paris.

The Munster centre was originally picked in the team to play Wales last weekend, but had to pull out because his baby daughter had been admitted to hospital. He is now back in the starting XV, replacing Fergus McFadden in the No 13 shirt.

That is the only change to Declan Kidney’s starting line-up and on the bench McFadden takes the place of David Kearney.

Ireland haven’t won in Paris since 2000, when Brian O’Driscoll scored a hat-trick in a famous 27-25 win, and they have only triumphed once in their last 12 meetings against France, so the task facing Paul O’Connell’s men is a big one.

Morgan Parra

Promotion: Morgan Parra will now start

France have suffered an injury blow, however, with first-choice scrum-half Dimitri Yachvili ruled out of the match by a back problem (acute lumbago). Morgan Parra will now wear the No9 jersey with Julien Dupuy drafted onto the bench.


France: Maxime Médard; Vincent Clerc, Aurelien Rougerie, Wesley Fofana, Julien Malzieu; François Trinh-Duc, Morgan Parra; Jean-Baptiste Poux, Dimitri Szarzewski, Nicolas mas, Pascal Pape, Yoann Maestri, Thierry Dusautoir (capt), Imanol Harinordoquy, Louis Picamoles.
Replacements: William Servat, Vincent Debaty, Lionel Nallet, Julien Bonnaire, Julien Dupuy, Lionel Beauxis, Maxime Mermoz.

Ireland: Rob Kearney, Tommy Bowe, Keith Earls, Gordon D’Arcy, Andrew Trimble; Jonathan Sexton, Conor Murray; Cian Healy, Rory Best, Mike Ross, Donncha O’Callaghan, Paul O’Connell (capt), Stephen Ferris, Sean O’Brien, Jamie Heaslip.
Replacements: Sean Cronin, Tom Court, Donnacha Ryan, Peter O’Mahony, Eoin Reddan, Ronan O’Gara, Fergus McFadden.