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Declan Kidney and Paul O'Connell coach and captain of the Irish rugby team Photo by: Google Images

Déjà vu all over again for Declan Kidney ahead of Paris match

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Declan Kidney and Paul O'Connell coach and captain of the Irish rugby team Photo by: Google Images

Ireland boss Declan Kidney has again kept faith with the players who earned the first Six Nations win of the season against Italy.

Kidney has opted to retain all 15 starting players and the replacements from the Italian match for Sunday’s big test against France in Paris.

The Ireland coach has resisted calls for change, particularly at scrum-half, as Ireland finally get to play the game postponed at the last minute last month.

Scrum-half Conor Murray, lock Donncha O’Callaghan and flanker Sean O’Brien have all retained their places despite stiff competition and criticism.

“We took a look at how we played against Italy. We have an eight-day turnaround which has given us more time to freshen up,” said Kidney.

“The errors that were made we can adjust and we’ll be better for having that 80 minutes under the belt.

“The lads who came on against Italy did exceptionally well and made a hugely positive impact, but I had to weigh that up against the lads who did a lot of the unseen work earlier in the game.”
Ireland have won just once in Paris since 1972 and will need to improve on the 42-10 win over Italy last Saturday.

“We’ve all been to hostile environments with our provinces in the past. We must draw on that experience,” said captain Paul O’Connell.

The Ireland team to play France is: Kearney; Bowe, Earls, D’Arcy, Trimble; Sexton, Murray; Healy, Best, Ross, O’Callaghan, O’Connell, Ferris, O’Brien, Heaslip.

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