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Ireland much changed for visit of France

Updated: Tuesday, 23 Aug 2011 15:09

Brian O'Driscoll - Makes a welcome return to the national side
Brian O'Driscoll - Makes a welcome return to the national side

The Ireland team to play France in Saturday's Rugby World Cup warm-up game has been announced with Brian O'Driscoll named in the side for the Aviva Stadium encounter.

Rugby World Cup on RTÉ Sport

Ireland v France will be live on RTÉ Two and RTÉ.ie (IoI) from 4.30pm on Saturday.

In total, there are 10 changes to the team which lost against the French last Saturday in Bordeaux.

There are six changes in the backline, one of which is positional. Felix Jones will make his first start for Ireland at full-back and Keith Earls moves from the centre to left wing.

With Earls moving into the back three, Gordon D’Arcy comes into the midfield alongside captain Brian O’Driscoll, who will both be making their debuts for the season.

Jonathan Sexton will start at No 10 and he will be partnered at half back by Tomas O’Leary.

Paul O’Connell and Jamie Heaslip come into the starting team after being second-half replacements last weekend and Sean O’Brien moves to No 6.

Ireland team to play France at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, 20 August at 5.00pm:

15 Felix Jones, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Brian O’Driscoll, 12 Gordon D’Arcy, 11 Keith Earls, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Tomás O’Leary

1 Cian Healy, 2 Rory Best, 3 Mike Ross, 4 Donncha O’Callaghan,
5 Paul O’Connell, 6 Sean O’Brien, 7 David Wallace, 8 Jamie Heaslip

Replacements:
16 Jerry Flannery, 17 Tom Court, 18 Mike McCarthy, 19 Stephen Ferris, 20 Eoin Reddan, 21 Ronan O’Gara, 22 Luke Fitzgerald.

Coach Declan Kidney has also named the Select XV to face Connacht at the Donnybrook Stadium on Thursday. Several players who were involved in last weekend's game against France will get another chance to impress.

Leo Cullen will captain the side and will be partnered in the second row by Mick O’Driscoll, with Tony Buckley, Sean Cronin, John Hayes completing the front five.

Shane Jennings will have his first outing of August after returning from a broken arm alongside Kevin McLaughlin and Denis Leamy in the back row.

Isaac Boss and Paddy Wallace will make up the half back partnership with Fergus McFadden, Johne Murphy and Geordan Murphy in the back three.

Ireland Select XV team & replacements to play Connacht at Donnybrook Stadium on Thursday 18 August at 6.30pm:

15 Geordan Murphy, 14 Johne Murphy, 13 Darren Cave,
Ian Keatley, 11 Fergus McFadden, 10 Paddy Wallace, 9 Isaac Boss

1 Tony Buckley, 2 Sean Cronin, 3 John Hayes, 4 Mick O’Driscoll,
5 Leo Cullen, 6 Kevin McLaughlin, 7 Shane Jennings, 8 Denis Leamy

Replacements:

16 Damien Varley, 17 Marcus Horan, 18 Donnacha Ryan, 19 Niall Ronan, 20 Conor Murray, 21 Denis Hurley, 22 Ian Whitten

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