Earl back in Irish midfield

2012-02-09 16:11

Dublin - Ireland picked Keith Earls to face France at outside center in the only change to their starting line-up for Saturday's Six Nations match in Paris.

Earls had originally been selected to deputise for injured captain Brian O'Driscoll in last week's opening defeat against Wales but pulled out of the match because his newborn child was ill.

Earls replaced Fergus McFadden in the line-up named on Thursday. McFadden drops to the reserves and David Kearney makes way for him on the replacements' bench.

The change means coach Declan Kidney has selected the same 22-man matchday squad he originally selected to face Wales, which won in Dublin with a late penalty.

Stephen Ferris keeps his place in the back row after being cleared of a citing charge for an alleged tip tackle that gave Wales their kick for victory.




Ireland: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Keith Earls, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Andrew Trimble, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Stephen Ferris, 5 Paul O'Connell (captain), 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Rory Best, 1 Cian Healy.

Substitutes: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Tom Court, 18 Donnacha Ryan, 19 Peter O'Mahony, 20 Eoin Reddan, 21 Ronan O'Gara, 22 Fergus McFadden.