Four Munster players start for Ireland against France in 6 Nations

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent


Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent


Four Munster players start for Ireland against France in 6 Nations

Munster winger Keith Earls makes a break for Ireland against Canada in their autumn international

FOUR Munster players have been selected in Ireland’s starting line-up to face France in Saturday’s Nat West 6 Nations Championship opener in Paris, 4.45pm Irish time.

In-form winger Keith Earls is set to win his 63rd cap against Les Bleus at the Stade de France.

Earls’ Munster team-mate Conor Murray starts at scrum-half alongside half-back partner Jonny Sexton.

Two further Munster players will start in the back-row, with flanker Peter O’Mahony earning his 43rd cap and number eight CJ Stander lining out for Ireland for a 19th time.

Munster prop John Ryan is included among the replacements, along with Limerick hooker Sean Cronin who has been in terrific form for Leinster.

IRELAND: Rob Kearney, Keith Earls, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale, Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray; Cian Healy, Rory Best, Tadhg Furlong, Iain Henderson, James Ryan, Peter O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier, CJ Stander. Replacements: Sean Cronin, Jack McGrath, John Ryan, Devin Toner, Dan Leavy, Luke McGrath, Joey Carbery, Fergus McFadden.

FRANCE: Geoffrey Palis, Teddy Thomas, Remi Lamerat, Henry Chavancy, Virimi Vakatawa, Matthieu Jalibert, Maxime Machenaud; Kevin Gourdon, Yacouba Camara, Wenceslas Lauret, Sebastien Vahaamahina, Arthur Iturria, Rabah Slimani, Guilhem Guirado (cap), Jefferson Poirot. Replacements: Adrien Pelissie, Dany Priso, Cedate Gomes Sa, Paul Gabrillagues, Marco Tauleigne, Antoine Dupont, Anthony Belleau, Benjamin Fall.