The Against the Head panel believe that choosing the centre partnership provides Joe Schmidt's toughest call in the backline ahead of the 2018 Six Nations championship.

Former Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan and former international Donal Lenihan were in agreement that Ulster's Jacob Stockdale had done enough to win a starting place on the wing for the opener against France, and that Keith Earls should start on the other wing should he regain his fitness before spring. 

Both agreed that the out-half pairing should remain in situ and that Rob Kearney's recent form means he should retain his place for the Six Nations.

And the belief was that a fit Garry Ringrose should replace Bundee Aki in the centre on the basis that he plays regularly with Henshaw in the centre at provincial level. 

Henshaw and Aki were once partners in the centre at Connacht but the Athlone man moved eastwards in 2016. 

"Leo Cullen said today that Garry Ringrose will be back at the weekend. That Henshaw-Ringrose combination, they play together regularly at Leinster. Bundee Aki doesn't get that chance. So, there's continuity there. That obviously gives Ringrose a huge advantage," said Lenihan.