Six Nations

Youngster Ryan gets nod ahead of Toner in Paris

2018-02-01 17:54
Devin Toner (TEAMtalk media)
  Video

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Maynooth - Young Irish lock James Ryan has been handed a vote of confidence by being selected to play France in Paris on Saturday in what will be his Six Nations debut.

The 21-year-old - who made his Test debut last summer even before he had played for the Leinster senior team - is preferred to the veteran Devin Toner and will partner Iain Henderson in the second row.

There are great expectations for Ryan, A former Ireland Under-20 captain, with murmurings that he is destined to skipper the senior side one day.

Head coach Joe Schmidt also brought back a couple of players who missed the three Test wins last November. Keith Earls will win his 64th cap on the wing while flanker Josh van der Flier fills the considerable vacuum left by the injured British & Irish Lions star Sean O'Brien.

The side will be once again captained by the vastly-experienced hooker Rory Best who wins his 107th cap.

The world class halfback pairing of Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray, with almost 130 caps between them, have far more experience than their French counterparts, Maxime Machenaud, 31 caps, and 19-year-old Matthieu Jalibert who is making his debut.

Schimdt is bidding to secure his third Six Nations crown after winning in 2014 and 2015, but the Grand Slam has eluded him so far.

The Irish will start as warm favourites to record only their third win in Paris in the last 40 years as the hosts under new coach Jacques Brunel seek to end a run of six Tests without a win.

Ireland team to play France in their opening Six Nations match in Paris on Saturday.

Kick-off is at 18:45 SA time.

Teams:

France

15 Geoffrey Palis, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Henry Chavancy, 12 Remi Lamerat, 11 Virimi Vakatawa, 10 Matthieu Jalibert, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Kevin Gourdon, 7 Yacouba Camara, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 4 Arthur Iturria, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Guilhem Guirado (captain), 1 Jefferson Poirot

Substitutes: 16 Adrien Pelissie, 17 Dany Priso, 18 Cedate Gomes Sa, 19 Paul Gabrillagues, 20 Marco Tauleigne, 21 Antoine Dupont, 22 Anthony Belleau, 23 Benjamin Fall

Ireland

15 Rob Kearney, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Jacob Stockdale; 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Conor Murray; 8 CJ Stander, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Peter O'Mahony; 5 James Ryan, 4 Iain Henderson; 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rory Best (capt), 1 Cian Healy

Substitutes: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 John Ryan, 19 Devin Toner, 20 Dan Leavy, 21 Luke McGrath, 22Joey Carbery, 23 Fergus McFadden

Read more on:    ireland  |  france  |  six nations  |  rugby
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