Late change for Ireland as Kearney ruled out of France clash

Jordan Larmour is promoted from the bench to start at fullback.

Ryan Bailey reports from the Aviva Stadium

IRELAND HAVE BEEN forced into a late change to their starting XV for this afternoon’s Six Nations clash against France in Dublin, with Rob Kearney pulling out less than two hours before kick-off.

The Leinster fullback will be replaced in Schmidt’s side by Jordan Larmour, who is promoted off the bench for his first Six Nations start.

Munster’s Andrew Conway comes into the matchday 23.

Rob Kearney Kearney is a late withdrawal. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Kearney reportedly pulled up with calf tightnesss after yesterday’s captain’s run, and it will be a stern examination of Larmour’s credentials in the backfield on the international stage after a shaky display against Argentina back in November.

Windy conditions at the Aviva Stadium will be a real test for the 21-year-old, who comes into the Ireland team for his 12th cap, and just his third start at this level, but it is ultimately an excellent opportunity for Larmour against Les Bleus

“We want him to give it his best shot, that’s all we can ask from him,” Schmidt said.

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Having come off the bench in Rome last time out, Conway takes the number 23 jersey after initially missing out on selection for the round four encounter.  

Kearney’s absence now means Schmidt’s starting XV shows eight changes from the victory over Italy in round three. 

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Ryan Bailey

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