Declan Kidney has handed Ulster's Paddy Wallace a shock start at center in Saturday's opening Six Nations clash against France at Croke Park. Wallace will partner Brian O'Driscoll in the big game with Luke Fitzgerald moved to the left wing and Leinster's Rob Kearney at full-back. In the pack Jerry Flannery, Jamie Heaslip and Stephen Ferris all get votes of confidence from Kidney ahead of his first competitive match as Ireland coach. Rory Best, Denis Leamy and Geordan Murphy all have to be content with places on the bench. Dropped from the initial 27 mans quad for the game Alan Quinlan, Mick O'Driscoll, Girvan Dempsey, Keith Earls and Shane Horgan. The Ireland team to play France in the at Croke Park on Saturday is - R. Kearney (Leinster); T. Bowe (Ospreys), B. O'Driscoll (Leinster, captain), P. Wallace (Ulster), L. Fitzgerald (Leinster); R. O'Gara (Munster), T. O'Leary (Munster); M. Horan (Munster), J. Flannery (Munster), J. Hayes (Munster), D. O'Callaghan (Munster), P. O'Connell (Munster), S. Ferris (Ulster), D. Wallace (Munster), J. Heaslip (Leinster). Replacements: R. Best (Ulster), T. Court (Ulster), M. O'Kelly (Leinster), D. Leamy (Munster), P. Stringer (Munster), G. D'Arcy (Leinster), G. Murphy (Leicester). Meanwhile, France have gone for an experimental half-back line against Ireland when Sebastien Tillous-Borde will partner Lionel Beauxis. The Castres scrum-half will play for the first time alongside Beauxis for Les Bleus with Toulouse pair Florian Fritz and Clement Poitrenaud recalled at centre and full-back. Imanol Harinordoquy has been named at number eight at the expense of Louis Picamoles while Sale's Sebastien Chabal retains his spot at lock where he will partner captain Lionel Nallet. The France team to play Ireland is: Clement Poitrenaud; Julien Malzieu, Florian Fritz, Yannick Jauzion, Maxime Medard; Lionel Beauxis, Sebastien Tillous-Borde; Lionel Faure, Dimitri Szarzewski, Benoit Lecouls, Sebastien Chabal, Lionel Nallet, Thierry Dusautoir, Fulgence Ouedraogo, Imanol Harinordoquy Replacements: Benjamin Kayser, Nicolas Mas, Romain Millo-Chluski, Louis Picamoles, Morgan Parra, Benoit Baby, Cedric Heymans.
Little known tale of generous Turkish aid to the Irish during the Great Hunger