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Ireland rugby squad announcement: Ulster captain Iain Henderson comes into replacement list and Jonny Sexton to miss out

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Iain Henderson

Iain Henderson

SPORTSFILE

Iain Henderson

Ulster captain Iain Henderson has been included in the replacement list for this week’s squad to to take on France in Saturday’s Guinness Six Nations round 2 fixture in Paris.

Elsewhere, Johnny Sexton will miss the crunch clash.

The captain has been replaced in the team by Joey Carbery, with James Ryan leading the side at the Stade de France.

Andy Farrell will provide clarity on Sexton's absence at his team announcement press conference later this morning. The 36-year-old gave his regular Tuesday press conference this week, while he was pictured at the team's training session yesterday. However, he picked up a hamstring injury in training on Wednesday.

Munster's Carbery started the win over Argentina in November and returned from his elbow injury to steer the ship home in Ireland's opening day win over Wales in Dublin last week.

This will be his first Six Nations start for Ireland and the biggest game of the 26-year-old's career to date.

His inclusion has led to Jack Carty's return to the Irish set-up, with the Athlone native the next man in to take the No 22 shirt. It is not yet known if Ireland will call up Harry or Ross Byrne or Billy Burns as cover as they travel to France today.

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Michael Lowry and Mack Hansen can also cover out-half if needed.

Otherwise, Ireland are unchanged from the side that beat Wales, with Robbie Henshaw and Iain Henderson fit again and named on the bench.

Carbery will be partnered by Jamison Gibson-Park, while Bundee Aki joins Garry Ringrose in the centre and Hansen is part of the back-three along with Hugo Keenan and Andrew Conway.

Up front, Ireland have Andrew Porter, Rónan Kelleher and Tadhg Furlong in the front-row, with Ryan partnering Tadhg Beirne in the second-row and Caelan Doris, Josh van der Flier and Jack Conan making up the loose forwards.

On the bench, Henderson comes in for Ryan Baird and Henshaw replaces James Hume as Carty covers No 10.

Ireland team to face France: H Keenan; A Conway, G Ringrose, B Aki, M Hansen; J Carbery, J Gibson-Park; A Porter, R Kelleher, T Furlong; T Beirne, J Ryan (capt); C Doris, J van der Flier, J Conan. Reps: D Sheehan, C Healy, F Bealham, I Henderson, P O'Mahony, C Murray, J Carbery, R Henshaw.


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