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Page last updated at 12:50 GMT, Friday, 6 February 2009

Kearney fit to start for Ireland

SIX NATIONS Ireland v France
Date: Saturday, 7 February Kick-off: 1700 GMT Venue: Croke Park
Coverage: BBC One, BBC Red Button, Radio 5 Live and BBC Sport website

Leinster's Rob Kearney now chosen in his best position of full-back
Kearney will take his place at full-back for Saturday's game

Rob Kearney has been passed fit to start for Ireland in their Six Nations opener against France on Saturday.

The in-form Leinster full-back had been on crutches after twisting an ankle during training on Tuesday.

But Kearney, who has switched to full-back after playing wing in the autumn, has had intensive physiotherapy and passed a fitness test on Friday.

Geordan Murphy had been on stand-by to start but remains on the bench, with Girvan Dempsey now not required.

The experienced Dempsey, who has 82 caps, was in line to join the replacements if Kearney was unfit.

Luke Fitzgerald and Tommy Bowe were selected on the wing with Paddy Wallace partnering captain Brian O'Driscoll at centre.

Ireland: R Kearney; T Bowe, B O'Driscoll (capt), P Wallace, L Fitzgerald; R O'Gara, T O'Leary; M Horan, J Flannery, J Hayes, D O'Callaghan, P O'Connell, S Ferris, D Wallace, J Heaslip.

Replacements: R Best, T Court, M O'Kelly, D Leamy, P Stringer, G D'Arcy, G Murphy.

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see also
Ireland v France (Sat)
06 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
Review - 2008 Six Nations season
02 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
Tillous-Borde selected for France
03 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
Kidney focuses on France opener
22 Jan 09 |  Rugby Union
Ireland 17-3 Argentina
22 Nov 08 |  Irish
Ireland 3-22 New Zealand
15 Nov 08 |  Rugby Union
Ireland 55-0 Canada
08 Nov 08 |  Irish

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