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Ireland's Likely Team To Play France Features Several Surprising Calls

Ireland's Likely Team To Play France Features Several Surprising Calls
Conor O'Leary
By Conor O'Leary
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Ireland head coach looks set to spring a few surprise selections ahead of Ireland's biggest challenge at this World Cup to date. Perhaps these were the 'rabbits' that Gordon D'Arcy was talking about.

It seems that Schmidt will retain his faith in Devin Toner - who is set to start ahead of Iain Henderson. This could hint that Schmidt is targeting the French lineout, and he will be relying on Henderson to provide some ballast from the bench after 60 minutes. France grew into the game in the Six Nations after Ireland dominated for the first hour - and Schmidt will be wary of falling off again.

Another surprising move is the elevation of Cian Healy over Jack McGrath. McGrath has been one of Ireland's most consistent performers in 2015. Healy was selected over McGrath for Ireland's final Six Nations game in Murrayfield, and history appears to be repeating itself.

In fact, Schmidt looks to be turning to the exact XV that played that final day in Murrayfield - with Dave Kearney's form on the wing in for Luke Fitzgerald as the only change. This means that Tommy Bowe wins the other wing spot ahead of the in form Keith Earls. The competition for the sub outside-back


France head coach Phillipe Saint Andre will name the French team this morning, ahead of Schmidt confirming his Ireland team this lunchtime.

The game kicks off in Cardiff's Millennium Stadium at 4.45pm on Sunday.

Probable Ireland Team To Play France

15. Rob Kearney
14. Tommy Bowe
13. Jared Payne
12. Robbie Henshaw
11. Dave Kearney
10. Johnny Sexton
9. Conor Murray
1. Cian Healy
2. Rory Best
3. Mike Ross
4. Devin Toner
5. Paul O'Conell
6. Peter O'Mahony
7. Sean O'Brien
8. Jamie Heaslip


[Irish Independent]

See Also: Joe Schmidt's 'Rabbits' Will See Us Past France According To Gordon D'Arcy

Picture credit: Seb Daly / SPORTSFILE

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