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Irish rugby team's head coach Declan Kidney Photo by: PA Archive/PA Photos

Declan Kidney names Irish rugby team to take on Italy in RBS Six Nations

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Irish rugby team's head coach Declan Kidney Photo by: PA Archive/PA Photos

Declan Kidney will go with the same again when Ireland take on Italy in the Six Nations at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

Kidney has named the team that was due to start the postponed game with France for this weekend's fixture.

Jonathon Sexton, a late injury scare in Paris with a hamstring strain, is fit to take his place at out-half for Ireland's second game of the season.

Keith Earls, who missed the opening defeat to Wales, is also retained by Kidney who has named the same starting team and replacements as for the French match.

"We were tempted to make changes to the team. We had a long discussion about it," said Kidney.

"But this team was good enough to play France so it's good enough to play against Italy as well.

"We need to approach this game by game, rather than as a block of four fixtures, and that's what we're doing."

Ireland have lost their last three matches at the Aviva Stadium but have never been beaten by Italy in the Six Nations. They now face four games in four weeks after the France match was called off at the last minute.

Ireland: R Kearney (Leinster); T Bowe (Ospreys), K Earls (Munster), G D'Arcy (Leinster), A Trimble (Ulster); J Sexton (Leinster), C Murray (Munster); C Healy (Leinster), R Best (Ulster), M Ross (Leinster), D O'Callaghan (Munster), P O'Connell (Munster, capt), S Ferris (Ulster), S O'Brien (Leinster), J Heaslip (Leinster).

Replacements: S Cronin (Leinster), T Court (Ulster), D Ryan (Munster), P O'Mahony (Munster), E Reddan (Leinster), R O'Gara (Munster), F McFadden (Leinster).

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