Earls elevated

Keo.co.za brings you the latest news from the Six Nations.

Earls elevated

Wing Keith Earls replaces Andrew Trimble in the only change to the Ireland team to face France in Paris on Saturday.

Stephen Ferris, who missed the win over Italy, has been bracketed in the side but his inclusion is pending a fitness test on Thursday. Nine replacements have been named, but two will drop out later in the week.

Ireland - Rob Kearney (Leinster), Tommy Bowe (Ospreys), Brian O’Driscoll (c), Gordon D’Arcy (both Leinster), Keith Earls, Ronan O’Gara, Tomas O’Leary (all Munster); Cian Healy (Leinster), Jerry Flannery, John Hayes (both Munster), Leo Cullen (Leinster), Paul O’Connell (Munster), AN Other, David Wallace (Munster), Jamie Heaslip (Leinster).
Subs (from): Rory Best, Tom Court (both Ulster), Donnacha Ryan (Munster), Sean O’Brien, Kevin McLaughlin, Eoin Reddan, Jonny Sexton (all Leinster), Paddy Wallace, Andrew Trimble (both Ulster).

Gatland changes two

Leigh Halfpenny and Jonathan Thomas have been promoted to the Wales starting team for their Test against Scotland on Saturday.

Halfpenny replaces fellow Cardiff Blues team-mate Tom James, while Thomas joins his Ospreys team-mate Alun-Wyn Jones – who was yellow-carded for a trip against England – in the second row. Luke Charteris is relegated from the squad.

Gethin Jenkins has recovered from his calf injury to be named on the bench and he joins fellow Blues players flank Sam Warburton and utility back Tom Shanklin in the 22.

Wales – Lee Byrne; Leigh Halfpenny, James Hook, Jamie Roberts, Shane Williams; Stephen Jones, Gareth Cooper; Paul James, Gareth Williams, Adam Jones, Jonathan Thomas, Alun Wyn Jones, Andy Powell, Martyn Williams, Ryan Jones (c)
Subs: Huw Bennett, Gethin Jenkins, Bradley Davies, Sam Warburton, Richie Rees, Andrew Bishop, Tom Shanklin.

Paterson set for milestone

Chris Paterson will plays his 100th Test in a Scotland team that sees three changes to face Wales in Cardiff.

Euan Murray returns to the side after missing Sunday’s clash with France due to his religious beliefs, Dan Parks replaces Phil Godman at flyhalf, with Rory Lamont coming in on the wing. Sean Lamont moves from wing to centre as Max Evans is dropped.

Scotland – Chris Paterson (Edinburgh); Thom Evans (Glasgow), Sean Lamont (Scarlets), Graeme Morrison (Glasgow), Rory Lamont (Toulon); Dan Parks (Glasgow), Chris Cusiter (Glasgow, c); Alisdair Dickinson (Gloucester), Ross Ford (Edinburgh), Euan Murray (Northampton), Nathan Hines (Leinster), Alastair Kellock (Glasgow), Kelly Brown (Glasgow), John Barclay (Glasgow), Johnnie Beattie (Glasgow).
Subs: Scott Lawson (Gloucester), Allan Jacobsen (Edinburgh), Richie Gray (Glasgow), Alan MacDonald (Edinburgh), Mike Blair (Edinburgh), Phil Godman (Edinburgh), Max Evans (Glasgow).

Double blow for France

French wing Aurelien Rougerie and prop Luc Ducalcon have been ruled out of the Six Nations Test against Ireland.

Alexis Palisson will replace Rougerie in the squad, while Jean-Baptiste Poux will come in for Ducalcon after a two-year absence from the international scene.

Wing Benjamin Fall is also doubtful for the clash against the Six Nations champions, but there is a 50-50 chance that the 20-year-old will recover in time.