(Reuters) - Prop Cian Healy will win a 100th cap in Saturday’s Six Nations clash against France in Paris as Ireland coach Andy Farrell made just a single, enforced change from the side that thumped Italy last weekend.
Ireland can mark Healy’s milestone with a bonus-point victory that would ensure they win the Six Nations crown at the expense of second-placed England, who are expected to beat the Italians in their final fixture in Rome.
Ireland put themselves in contention for the trophy with a 50-17 home win last weekend, and the only change from that side is Robbie Henshaw coming in at outside centre for the injured Garry Ringrose, who has a broken jaw.
Henshaw’s place on the bench is taken by Chris Farrell, who comes into the match-day squad.
There is an unchanged pack, with Healy part of a front row that also includes hooker Rob Herring and prop Andrew Porter.
James Ryan and Tadgh Beirne are in the second row, while Caelan Doris, last weekend’s debutant Will Connors and CJ Stander are at the back of the scrum.
Captain Jonathan Sexton and Conor Murray make up the half-back pairing, with Bundee Aki partnering Henshaw at centre. Jacob Stockdale is at fullback, with Hugo Keenan and Andrew Conway on the wings.
If Ireland secure a win without the four-try bonus point, while England claim a five-point win in Rome, then both teams would be level on 18 points. The title would then come down to points difference, with Ireland currently 23 points better off in that department.
France remain in contention too, but must hope England don’t perform against Italy to give them a chance. The teams are level on 13 points, with England holding a slight edge on points-difference of +2.
Team: 15-Jacob Stockdale, 14-Andrew Conway, 13-Robbie Henshaw, 12-Bundee Aki, 11-Hugo Keenan, 10-Jonathan Sexton (capt), 9-Conor Murray, 8-CJ Stander, 7-Will Connors, 6-Caelan Doris, 5-James Ryan, 4-Tadhg Beirne, 3-Andrew Porter, 2-Rob Herring, 1-Cian Healy
Replacements: 16-Dave Heffernan, 17-Ed Byrne, 18-Finlay Bealham, 19-Ultan Dillane, 20-Peter O’Mahony, 21-Jamison Gibson-Park, 22-Ross Byrne, 23-Chris Farrell.
Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Christian Radnedge
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