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Changes Likely To Be Kept To A Minimum

9th February 2011 By Munster Rugby

When the Irish side to play France is named shortly, it’s likely the changes will be at most two, but probably one, from the side that faced Italy last weekend.

When the Irish side to play France is named shortly, it’s likely the changes will be at most two, but probably one, from the side that faced Italy last weekend.

The news that Jamie Heaslip came through a training spin in the RDS yesterday unscathed means he will almost certainly be named at number 8. That in turns means that Sean O'Brien will then need to be re-located meaning that Denis Leamy will slip to the bench as O'Brien reverts to his more familiar postion at blindside.

In the backs, although Andrew Trimble has been declared fit, he shouldn't dislodge Fergus McFadden who, but for two wild passes, would have marked his debut with a brace of tries, and despite the criticism levelled at Tomas O'Leary, he should retain the number 9 shirt with Jonny Sexton as his half-back partner.

Calls for Cian Healy to be replaced will fall on deaf ears and rightly so, nor should Sean Cronin start ahead of Rory Best and the second row Munster partnership of O'Callaghan and O'Connell should remain the same.

Ireland (possible): L Fitzgerald; F McFadden, B O'Driscoll capt, G D'Arcy, K Earls; J Sexton, T O'Leary; C Healy, S Cronin, M Ross; D O'Callaghan, P O'Connell; D Wallace, S O'Brien, J Heaslip. Replacements: S Cronin, T Court, L Cullen, D Leamy, E Reddan, R O'Gara, P Wallace.

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