Conor Murray and Sexton are named at half-back with Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrosecontinuing their midfield partnership.
Rob Kearney, Keith Earls and Simon Zebo complete the back three.
The replacements are Niall Scannell, Cian Healy, John Ryan, Iain Henderson, Peter O'Mahony, Kieran Marmion, Paddy Jackson and Andrew Trimble.
Ireland Team & Replacements (v France, RBS 6 Nations, Aviva Stadium, Saturday 25, February, 4:50pm)
15. Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster) 74 caps
14. Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster) 56 caps
13. Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster) 5 caps
12. Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Leinster) 26 caps
11. Simon Zebo (Cork Constitution/Munster) 30 caps
10. Johnny Sexton (St Mary's College/Leinster) 63 caps
9. Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 55 caps
16. Niall Scannell (Dolphin/Munster) 1 cap
17. Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 64 caps
18. John Ryan (Cork Constitution/Munster) 3 caps
19. Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 29 caps
20. Peter O'Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) 37 caps
21. Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht) 10 caps
22. Paddy Jackson (Dungannon/Ulster) 21 caps
23. Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster) 69 caps