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Ireland name side but still uncertain over 10 selection

Declan Kidney has announced a somewhat incomplete Ireland squad to face France on Saturday, with no player announced at fly half or replacement tighthead.

Kidney confirmed that Jonny Sexton would not be fit to face France and also revealed that Paddy Jackson has been suffering with a tight hamstring but is expected to be fit for Saturday.

Kidney explained that he was yet to make a call on the number ten jersey though, after he left Ronan O’Gara out of the squad altogether, saying that it was still unclear whether Paddy Jackson or Leinster’s Ian Madigan would start there:

“Just before I walked in the decision was taken to withdraw Johnny Sexton but that Paddy will be good to go at training on Thursday, Paddy trained in the position yesterday, Ian trained there this morning and I’m sure they’ll both be available on Thursday and we’ll then make the call.”

Elswhere, Craig Gilroy has not recovered from a groin injury and is replaced by Fergus McFadden, who could be asked to take over kicking duties after Jackson’s struggles against Scotland.

In the forwards, Cian Healy and Mike McCarthy return, they replace Tom Court and Donnacha O’Callaghan, O’Callaghan is named on the bench. Meanwhile Declan Fitzpatrick, who has been the replacement tighthead in all three rounds so far, is out with a calf injury but Kidney has yet to decide whether Munster’s Stephen Archer or Leinster’s Michael Bent should replace him on the bench.

Ireland Squad vs France:

15. Rob Kearney 14. Fergus McFadden 13. Brian O’Driscoll 12. Luke Marshall 11. Keith Earls 10. A N Other 9. Connor Murray; 1. Cian Healy 2. Rory Best 3. Mike Ross 4. Mike McCarthy 5. Donnacha Ryan 6. Peter O’Mahony 7. Sean O’Brien 8. Jamie Heaslip (c).

Replacements: 16. Sean Cronin 17. David Kilcoyne 18. A N Other 19. Donnacha O’Callaghan 20. Iain Henderson 21. Eoin Reddan 22. A N Other 23. Luke Fitzgerald.

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