Robbie Henshaw will likely be the only Irish change for France final


The latest misfortune to befall Garry Ringrose will require at least one change in the starting squad that kicked off last Saturday’s 50-17 victory over Italy, but it will be a surprise if there are any further changes to the XV when Andy Farrell reveals his hand. at 1 p.m. today for the final of the Six Nations 2020 on Saturday evening at the Stade de France.

Robbie Henshaw, having replaced Ringrose in the 27th minute last Saturday, seems the favorite to renew his partnership with Bundee Aki.

Henshaw also replaced Ringrose midway through the opening victory over Scotland when the latter suffered a broken thumb before starting alongside Aki against Wales and England. The only other apparent option would be to promote Chris Farrell who has obviously trained very well at the HPC Ireland in Abbotstown.

If Henshaw starts, it leaves a vacancy on the bench that Keith Earls would seem best equipped to fill, as he did against Wales and England. But although Earls took part in last Wednesday’s 3pm game, the latest bulletin regarding his Monday case number indicated that he was “completing his rehab program at IRFU CHP and a decision on his availability. will be taken in the next few days. “.

If Earls is not deemed fit enough to play on Saturday, Farrell seems most likely to be named among the team’s only other midfielders or outside fullbacks.

While Stuart McCloskey is a center interior specialist, 23-year-old Shane Daly would be the most natural fit for the 23 shirt given he can play fullback, wing and center, but he’s only made 20 games. for Munster and none in the past eight weeks.

Farrell, 27, has played nine times for Ireland in the past three years since moving to Munster from Grenoble, where he played for three seasons. Granted, that still doesn’t leave specialist coverage for the final three but with Ringrose joining up with Jordan Larmour, Will Addison, Dave Kearney and, potentially, Earls on the sidelines, the closet doesn’t overflow.

Elsewhere, it’s hard to envision any further changes based on the form displayed by those who played last Saturday. Indeed, the form of Will Connors having earned him a first cap, his performance as a man of the match only strengthened his case. In addition to his line speed and tackling execution, these tackles bring down Poachers, CJ Stander, Caelan Doris and Tadhg Beirne more into the game. Beirne also impressed with his tremendous pace of work during the failure and number of tackles.

It’s a similar story on the bench, given that all of the substitutes last Saturday brought real value and played their part in resuming the initiative after Italy reduced Ireland’s lead to 24-10 as the final quarter approaches.

Rónan Kelleher (quad) is said to be in great shape again and returned to training this week, but the mobile and strong Dave Heffernan made a solid contribution to the tight and to the game. Another possible indicator is that the Mayo man was also introduced to the media on Tuesday.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here