Bundee and Finlay named in Ireland 23 for Six Nations opener

31 January 2024

Bundee and Finlay named in Ireland 23 for Six Nations opener

Head Coach Andy Farrell has named his Ireland Match Day Squad for Friday night’s Guinness Men’s Six Nationsopener against France in Marseille (Kick-off 9pm local time/8pm Irish time).

Peter O’Mahony captains Ireland for the Round 1 clash at Stade Velodrome, with a number of players in line for their Championship debuts in green.

Joe McCarthy has been named to start in the second row alongside Tadhg Beirne, while Calvin Nash lines up on the right wing having made his Test debut against Italy in last summer’s Bank of Ireland Nations Series.

Nash is joined in the back three by Hugo Keenan at full-back and James Lowe on the left, with Bundee Aki partnering Robbie Henshaw in the Ireland midfield.

In the half backs, Jamison Gibson-Park starts at nine alongside Jack Crowley at out-half, who is in line for his first Six Nations start.

Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan and Tadhg Furlong are selected in the front row, with McCarthy set for his sixth cap in the engine room beside Beirne. Captain O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier and Caelan Doris complete the Ireland starting team.

Farrell has opted for a six-two split on the replacements bench with Ronan Kelleher, the fit again Cian Healy, Finlay Bealham, James Ryan, Ryan Baird and Jack Conan providing the reinforcements in the pack, with Conor Murray and Ciaran Frawley – also in line for his first Championship appearance – the backline options.

Friday’s match is live on Virgin Media One in Republic of Ireland and ITV in the United Kingdom.

Ireland Team

15. Hugo Keenan (UCD/Leinster)(36)
14. Calvin Nash (Young Munster/Munster)(1)
13. Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Leinster)(67)
12. Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht)(52)
11. James Lowe (Leinster)(26)
10. Jack Crowley (Cork Constitution/Munster)(9)
9. Jamison Gibson-Park (Leinster)(30)
1. Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster)(59)
2. Dan Sheehan (Lansdowne/Leinster)(21)
3. Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster)(72)
4. Joe McCarthy (Dublin University/Leinster)(5)
5. Tadhg Beirne (Lansdowne/Munster)(46)
6. Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster)(captain)(101)
7. Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster)(57)
8. Caelan Doris (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)(36)
16. Ronan Kelleher (Lansdowne/Leinster)(26)
17. Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)(125)
18. Finlay Bealham (Buccaneers/Connacht)(36)
19. James Ryan (UCD/Leinster)(59)
20. Ryan Baird (Dublin University/Leinster)(15)
21. Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster)(41)
22. Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster)(112)
23. Ciaran Frawley (UCD/Leinster)(1).