Ireland Names Team For Friday Night’s Six Nations Opener Against France

 

Head Coach Andy Farrell has named his Ireland team for Friday night’s Guinness Men’s Six Nations opener against France at 10:00 (SA Time).

Peter O’Mahony captains Ireland for the Round 1 clash at Stade Velodrome, Marseille, with a number of players in line for their Championship debuts in green.

Joe McCarthy has been named to start in the second row alongside Tadhg Beirne, while Calvin Nash lines up on the right wing having made his Test debut against Italy in last year’s Summer Nations Series.

Nash is joined in the back three by Hugo Keenan at full-back and James Lowe on the left, with Bundee Aki partnering Robbie Henshaw in the Ireland midfield.

In the half-backs, Jamison Gibson-Park starts at nine alongside Jack Crowley at out-half, who is in line for his first Six Nations start.

Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan and Tadhg Furlong are selected in the front row, with McCarthy set for his sixth cap in the engine room beside Beirne. Captain O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier and Caelan Doris complete the Ireland starting team.

Farrell has opted for a six-two split on the replacements bench with Ronan Kelleher, the fit again Cian Healy, Finlay Bealham, James Ryan, Ryan Baird and Jack Conan providing the reinforcements in the pack, with Conor Murray and Ciaran Frawley – also in line for his first Championship appearance – the backline options.

Ireland Team: 15. Hugo Keenan, 14. Calvin Nash, 13. Robbie Henshaw, 12. Bundee Aki, 11. James Lowe, 10. Jack Crowley, 9. Jamison Gibson-Park, 8. Caelan Doris, 7. Josh van der Flier, 6. Peter O’Mahony, 5. Tadhg Beirne, 4. Joe McCarthy, 3. Tadhg Furlong, 2. Dan Sheehan, 1. Andrew Porter.  Replacements: 16. Ronan Kelleher, 17. Cian Healy, 18. Finlay Bealham, 19. James Ryan, 20. Ryan Baird, 21. Jack Conan, 22. Conor Murray, 23. Ciaran Frawley.