Ireland v France: Rob Herring replaces Sean Cronin in Ireland squad
Sean Cronin has been omitted from Ireland’s 37-man squad for Sunday’s Guinness Six Nations clash with France in Dublin.
The 32-year-old hooker has paid the price for a below-par performance in Ireland’s patchy 26-16 victory over Italy in Rome.
Ulster’s Rob Herring has been added to Ireland’s extended training squad, alongside captain Rory Best and Munster’s Niall Scannell.
Kieran Marmion has been drafted in at scrum-half, while Robbie Henshaw and Dan Leavy have been ruled out through injury.
“A 37-man squad has been named ahead of Ireland’s Guinness Six Nations game against France at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday,” read Ireland’s statement.
“Ross Byrne, who was capped on the summer tour to Australia is named in the squad, which also sees the return of Connacht’s Kieran Marmion.
“Up front Rob Herring is included as one of three hookers alongside skipper Rory Best and Munster’s Niall Scannell.”
Cronin had his biggest chance in some time to stake a starting claim, in his full Six Nations debut on his 68th cap in Rome.
But the all-action Leinster front-rower struggled at the lineout as Ireland’s overall approach was again at best sluggish.
And now the experienced hooker has been left out of the wider squad, with Ulster’s Herring called in.
Centre Henshaw’s absence proves a loss, with the British and Irish Lions star struggling far longer than expected with a dead leg.
Fly-half Joey Carbery has remained with the squad despite still battling a hamstring complaint, with head coach Joe Schmidt holding out hope that the Muster playmaker could be ready for Sunday’s Dublin encounter.
Ireland training squad: Forwards: R Best (Ulster, capt), T Beirne (Munster), J Conan (Leinster), U Dillane (Connacht), T Furlong, C Healy (both Leinster), I Henderson, R Herring (both Ulster), D Kilcoyne (Munster), J McGrath (Leinster), J Murphy (Ulster), S O’Brien (Leinster), P O’Mahony (Munster), A Porter (Leinster), Q Roux (Connacht), R Ruddock, James Ryan (both Leinster), John Ryan, N Scannell, CJ Stander (all Munster), J Van Der Flier (Leinster).
Backs: B Aki (Connacht), R Byrne (Leinster), J Carbery (Munster), J Carty (Connacht), A Conway, J Cooney, K Earls, C Farrell (all Munster), T Farrell (Connacht), R Kearney, J Larmour (both Leinster), K Marmion (Connacht), C Murray (Munster), G Ringrose, J Sexton (both Leinster), J Stockdale (Ulster).