Heaslip returns for Ireland

British & Irish Lion Jamie Heaslip is the only change in the Ireland team to face France in the RBS 6 Nations Championship on Sunday. [more]

Heaslip returns for Ireland

British & Irish Lion Jamie Heaslip is the only change in the Ireland team to face France in the RBS 6 Nations Championship on Sunday.

The powerful No8 returns from injury and takes Denis Leamy’s place in the back-row, with Sean O’Brien moving across to the blindside.

Ireland began their 2011 campaign with a nervy victory over Italy in Rome and the return of the 2009 Lions tourist is a big boost to head coach Declan Kidney.

"I wasn't satisfied with the way we played (in Italy). I think we can play a lot better but I believe the players that played, played in a way that they deserve another go,” said Kindney.

"As a team and as units we have made one change. Jamie is obviously a good player. He brings his own skill set to it.

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"That will give us a little bit of variation in that line of our team, but other than that, sometimes you need to back them and that is what I am doing.

"Denis (Leamy) is unlucky to lose out. He had a very good day for us the last day. There would be a number of different factors in that selection and one small one, not the overriding one, would be the fact that Sean has played at six with Jamie at eight before."

Ireland: L Fitzgerald (Leinster), F McFadden (Leinster), B O'Driscoll (Leinster, captain), G D'Arcy (Leinster), K Earls (Munster), J Sexton (Leinster), T O'Leary (Munster); C Healy (Leinster), R Best (Ulster), M Ross (Leinster), D O'Callaghan (Munster), P O'Connell (Munster), S O'Brien (Leinster), D Wallace (Munster), J Heaslip (Leinster).

Replacements: S Cronin (Connacht), T Court (Ulster), L Cullen (Leinster), D Leamy (Munster), E Reddan (Leinster), R O'Gara (Munster), P Wallace (Ulster).
 

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