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Sexton, Murray and Ryan ruled out for Ireland as Burns gets nod at No10

Iain Henderson will captain the side while there is also a recall for Rhys Ruddock as Andy Farrell names his team for Sunday’s Six Nations tie against France.

Johnny Sexton has failed his fitness test.
Johnny Sexton has failed his fitness test.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

JOHNNY SEXTON HAS been ruled out of the Ireland team to play France on Sunday, a week after going off injured against Wales.

Worse again, there was no place in the starting XV for either James Ryan, who also picked up a head injury in that 21-16 defeat in Cardiff, or Conor Murray. With Peter O’Mahony also suspended, Ireland head into Sunday’s decisive game minus their four most important leaders.

Five of the seven backs retain their places, Hugo Keenan, Keith Earls and James Lowe in the back three; Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose in midfield; with Billy Burns partnering Jamison Gibson-Park at half-back. Murray has a hamstring injury.

In the pack, Cian Healy, Rob Herring and Andrew Porter start for the second week running with Henderson coming in for Ryan in the second row, and Rhys Ruddock replacing Peter O’Mahony at blindside. Josh van der Flier and CJ Stander are rewarded for their performances in Cardiff with the final spots in the pack.

On the bench, there was further disruption as Dave Kilcoyne was unexpectedly ruled out. Ed Byrne steps in for the Munster prop as Ultan Dillane comes into the fold as the second row replacement. Meanwhile Ross Byrne and Craig Casey are the replacement half-backs.

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Ireland XV v France:

15. Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD) 7 caps

14. Keith Earls (Munster/Young Munster) 89 caps
13. Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD) 31 caps
12. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster/Buccaneers) 48 caps
11. James Lowe (Leinster) 3 caps
10. Billy Burns (Ulster) 4 caps
9. Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster) 6 caps

1. Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf) 105 caps

2. Rob Herring (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 17 caps
3. Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD) 33 caps
4. Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne) 18 caps
5. Iain Henderson (Ulster/Academy) 59 caps CAPTAIN
6. Rhys Ruddock (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 26 caps
7. Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD) 29 caps
8. CJ Stander (Munster/Shannon) 47 caps

Replacements

16. Ronan Kelleher (Leinster/Lansdowne) 7 caps

17. Ed Byrne (Leinster/UCD) 3 caps
18. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf) 45 caps
19. Ultan Dillane (Connacht/Corinthians) 17 caps
20. Will Connors (Leinster/UCD) 6 caps
21. Craig Casey (Munster/Shannon) uncapped
22. Ross Byrne (Leinster/UCD) 11 caps
23. Jordan Larmour (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 25 caps

About the author:

Garry Doyle

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