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Henderson to make way for O'Mahony

By Nick Purewal

Joe Schmidt looks set to keep changes to a minimum for Saturday's Six Nations title decider against France in Paris.

The New Zealander is expected to recall fit-again Peter O'Mahony in the only alteration to the starting XV from the win over Italy last weekend.

The Munster captain's return is likely to see Iain Henderson drop to the replacements bench, with Leinster back-row pair Jordi Murphy and Rhys Ruddock battling it out for the No 20 shirt.

Indications are that Schmidt could go for the more experienced Ruddock to cover the back-row after the impact he made during his second cap off the bench against the Italians.

Eoin Reddan appears likely to have to do with a place on the bench, despite his lively performance last Saturday, with Conor Murray's physicality helping him secure the No 9 shirt.

If he does make just one change, it would mean Schmidt has selected just 18 starters in the five games of his first Six Nations campaign and the resulting cohesion is one of the factors that could give his team the edge as Phillipe Saint-Andre prepares to make yet more changes to his troubled France team.

Both sides will be named today ahead of the final game of the campaign. Although the French are still mathematically in with a chance, the title appears to be a straight shootout between Ireland and England.

Stuart Lancaster's team start the day 49 points behind Ireland as they face Italy and, barring a surprisingly big win in Rome, leaders Ireland should face the straightforward task of beating France to win the Championship.

Tighthead prop Mike Ross admits this is too golden an opportunity for the team to miss out on as he chases his first piece of silverware with Ireland.

"Jeez, it would be a shame to let it all slip away from this position," he said. "We're not going to let that happen, though. There's still a lot of pain in this squad from 2007 when Ireland lost out on points difference."

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