Kearney back for Ireland

Coach Joe Schmidt has made three changes to Ireland's starting XV for Sunday's Pool D decider against France in Cardiff.

Ireland and France are both unbeaten in this pool and have 14 log points each. The winner of this match will top the pool and thus avoid the All Blacks in the quarter-finals.

In the only change to the backline, Rob Kearney replaces Simon Zebo at fullback, with the latter dropping out of the match 23 altogether. Keith Earls retains his spot at outside centre after teammate Jared Payne failed a fitness test.

Among the forwards, lock Devin Toner and loosehead prop Cian Healy graduate from the bench at the expense of Iain Henderson and Jack McGrath, who drop to the reserves. 

Ireland – 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Keith Earls, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Dave Kearney, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Peter O'Mahony, 5 Paul O'Connell (c), 4 Devin Toner, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Rory Best, 1 Cian Healy.
Subs: 16 Richardt Strauss, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Nathan White, 19 Iain Henderson, 20 Chris Henry, 21 Eoin Reddan, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Luke Fitzgerald.

Photo: Paul Gilham/Getty Images

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