Toner loses out for Paris opener

Thu, 01 Feb 2018 13:42

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Ireland have selected James Ryan at second row for their Six Nations opener against France in Paris on Saturday.

Ryan, who has just four caps, has usurped his more experienced Leinster and Ireland teammate Devin Toner.

The giant lock has made just 10 appearances for Leinster, the vast majority coming this season.

With the back row fiercely competitive, Josh van der Flier has been given the nod at openside ahead of Dan Leavy.

There is no place in the 23-man squad for in-form Jordan Larmour.  

Joey Carbery, who has made just one substitute appearance for Leinster since injuring his wrist against Fiji in November, is the back-up to Johnny Sexton and can play at fullback.

In the backline Bundee Aki and Jacob Stockdale will make their first Six Nations appearances having impressed in November.

Ireland have only won once in Paris since 2000 and were defeated 10-9 on their last visit in 2016.

Ireland: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Christiaan Stander, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Peter O’Mahony, 5 James Ryan, 4 Iain Henderson, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rory Best (captain), 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 John Ryan, 19 Devin Toner, 20 Dan Leavy, 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Joey Carbery, 23 Fergus McFadden.

Date: Saturday, February 3
Venue: Stade de France, Paris
Kick-off: 17.45 (16.45 UK and Ireland time; 16.45 GMT)
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Paul Williams (New Zealand)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)

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Team P W D L Pts
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France 5 2 0 3 11
England 5 2 0 3 10
Italy 5 0 0 5 1