Half-backs John Cooney and Harry Byrne have linked up with the Ireland squad ahead of Sunday's game against France to provide cover after Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton were ruled out with injuries.

It was confirmed on Friday that first-choice half-back pairing Murray and Sexton would both miss the France game, the former having picked up a hamstring injury in training with the latter failing to recover in time after suffering a head injury against Wales. 

James Ryan, likewise, failed to come through the HIA return-to-play protocols. 

Jamison Gibson-Park and Billy Burns have been entrusted with the starting berths for Sunday afternoon's game, with Craig Casey and Ross Byrne providing cover on the bench. 

Now, news emerges that Ulster scrum-half Cooney and Leinster fly-half Harry Byrne will offer extra cover in the specialist positions.

The 21-year-old Byrne, younger brother of Ross, is still uncapped while Cooney hasn't featured for Ireland since being introduced as a sub in the 24-12 loss to England in Twickenham in last year's Six Nations.