Jackson to start at outhalf against France

Updated: Thursday, 07 Mar 2013 17:05

By Tadhg Peavoy

Ulster's Paddy Jackson has been selected to start at outhalf for Ireland against France in the RBS 6 Nations, with Leinster's Ian Madigan named as the replacement outhalf for the tie.

The replacement tighthead prop for the encounter will be Munster's Stephen Archer, who gets the nod ahead of Leinster's Michael Bent.

Both outhalf and the replacement prop positions had been marked AN Other at Tuesday's team announcement, with Jackson suffering from a hamstring injury and still not a certainty to be fit for the clash with Philippe Saint-André's France.

However, both outhalves participated in kicking practice yesterday and full training today, which Jackson came through to retain the number 10 shirt.

Uncapped Madigan was drafted into the squad last week, with Ronan O'Gara dropping out of the squad to make room for the utility back.

The replacement tighthead prop position was left vacant as a result of Declan Fitzpatrick's injury.

Head coach Declan Kidney left Archer and Bent to compete for the position before announcing Archer in the matchday 23 today.

Ireland manager Mick Kearney commented: "Paddy kicked in the Aviva Stadium yesterday and kicked well and trained fully this morning.

"Paddy's hamstring first tightened up after Monday's session so there was a bit of concern about him.

"He sat out the session on Tuesday, received treatment and did some light running in the afternoon.

"He then came through kicking at the Aviva Stadium yesterday afternoon very well, so that clarified things for us, but up until then there was some small doubt.

"There was no discomfort this morning so he'll be fine."

Ireland XV to play France: Rob Kearney, Fergus McFadden, Brian O’Driscoll, Luke Marshall, Keith Earls, Paddy Jackson, Conor Murray, Cian Healy, Rory Best, Mike Ross, Mike McCarthy, Donnacha Ryan, Peter O’Mahony, Sean O’Brien, Jamie Heaslip (captain).

Replacements: Sean Cronin, David Kilcoyne, Stephen Archer, Donncha O’Callaghan, Iain Henderson, Eoin Reddan, Ian Madigan, Luke Fitzgerald.

Earlier today, France coach Saint-André named France's matchday 23 for the tie, with three changes in the backline.

Centre Florian Fritz, winger Maxime Medard and outhalf Frederic Michalak all come into the side, with Francois Trinh-Duc and Mathieu Bastareaud dropping to the bench. Benjamin Fall is dropped from the squad altogether.

Hooker Guilhem Guirado and lock Sebastien Vahaamahina are drafted into the France replacements in place of Dimitri Szarzewski and Jocelino Suta.

France XV to play Ireland: Yoann Huget, Vincent Clerc, Florian Fritz, Wesley Fofana, Maxime Medard, Frederic Michalak, Morgan Parra, Louis Picamoles, Thierry Dusautoir (capt), Yannick Nyanga, Yoann Maestri, Christophe Samson, Nicolas Mas, Benjamin Kayser, Thomas Domingo.

Replacements: Guilhem Guirado, Vincent Debaty, Luc Ducalcon, Sebastien Vahaamahina, Antonie Claassen, Maxime Machenaud, Francois Trinh-Duc, Mathieu Bastareaud.Bastareaud.

Meanwhile, Paul O'Connell is expected to play some part in Munster's A Interprovincial clash with Leinster at the UL Bowl on Tuesday after making steady progress in his recovery from a lower back injury. 

Live RBS 6 Nations coverage on RTÉ Two and RTÉ.ie (Ireland only) from 2pm on Saturday 9 March (Ireland v France 5pm) and 2.30pm on Sunday 10 March.

Live radio coverage of Ireland v France on Saturday Sport on RTÉ Radio 1 and RTÉ.ie (Worldwide) from 2pm.

Twitter: @TPeavoy