Heaslip returns for Ireland vs France

Fit-again Jamie Heaslip has been recalled to Ireland’s starting line-up on Wednesday as coach Declan Kidney made only one change for this week’s Six Nations clash with France.

Heaslip, who had been nursing an ankle injury, missed Ireland’s opening match of the campaign against Italy last weekend, when only a late Ronan O’Gara drop goal saved Kidney’s men from a humiliating defeat.

Kidney will be hoping that the return of British and Irish Lions number eight Heaslip gives Ireland some much needed dynamism around the field after a lacklustre display against Italy.

Heaslip’s return will see Sean O’Brien shifted to the blindside with Denis Leamy, who started against Italy but was yellowcarded inside the final 10 minutes leaving the Irish exposed, dropping down to the bench.

David Wallace continues at openside while Shane Jennings, an unused replacement against Italy, drops out of the matchday 22 altogether.

Ireland (15-1)

Luke Fitzgerald; Fergus McFadden, Brian O’Driscoll (capt), Gordon D’Arcy, Keith Earls; Jonathan Sexton, Tomas O’Leary; Jamie Heaslip, David Wallace, Sean O’Brien; Paul O’Connell, Donncha O’Callaghan; Mike Ross, Rory Best, Cian Healy

Replacements: Sean Cronin, Tom Court, Leo Cullen, Denis Leamy, Eoin Reddan, Ronan O’Gara, Paddy Wallace

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