O'Brien omitted as Ireland make seven changes for France encounter

There is no place for Sean O'Brien in Ireland's matchday squad for the Six Nations clash with France after Joe Schmidt made seven changes to his side.

O'Brien started the victories over Scotland and Italy, but the flanker will play no part at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday.

Josh van der Flier replaces the British and Irish Lion, while Rory Best returns to captain the third-placed defending champions and CJ Stander makes his comeback from a facial injury.

Fit-again centre Garry Ringrose partners Bundee Aki at the expense of Chris Farrell, who does not make the bench.

Hooker Sean Cronin had already been omitted for the penultimate round in Dublin as Best returns, having been given a rest for the victory over the Azzurri in Rome. 

Locks Iain Henderson and James Ryan get the nod over Ultan Dillane and Quinn Roux, while Jordi Murphy makes way for number eight Stander.


Ireland: Rob Kearney, Keith Earls, Garry Ringrose, Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale, Jonathan Sexton, Conor Murray; Cian Healy, Rory Best (captain), Tadhg Furlong, Iain Henderson, James Ryan, Peter O'Mahony, Josh van der Flier, CJ Stander.

Replacements: Niall Scannell, Dave Kilcoyne, John Ryan, Ultan Dillane, Jack Conan, John Cooney, Jack Carty, Jordan Larmour.

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