Dave Heffernan replaces injured Rob Herring in Ireland squad for France game

Connacht hooker called up but Keith Earls continues to rehab a hamstring injury

Connacht hooker Dave Heffernan has been called up to the Irish squad in advance of next Saturday's Six Nations pivotal round two game against France in the Stade de France (kick-off 5.45pm local time/4.45pm Irish).

He replaces Rob Herring, who has been ruled out of consideration due to a calf injury. The squad has been reduced to 36 players as Keith Earls continues his hamstring rehab in Munster over the coming weeks and his progress will be assessed as the championship progresses.

Ulster trio Michael Lowry, Robert Baloucoune and Nick Timoney have rejoined the squad having featured for Ulster against Connacht in the URC on Friday evening.

Meanwhile, France have recalled all but one of the 14 players released last weekend in restoring their squad to its original 42 players.

The Toulouse lock Thibaud Flament replaces Florian Verhaeghe of Montpellier. The prop Mohamed Haouas is thus not recalled after his conviction and suspended sentence of 18 months in jail for his role in a series of burglaries of tobacconists in 2014.

Saturday’s game at the Stade de France will be broadcast live on Virgin Media and ITV and RTÉ Radio.

IRELAND (squad)
Backs (16)

Bundee Aki (Connacht), Robert Baloucoune (Ulster), Joey Carbery (Munster), Jack Carty (Connacht), Craig Casey (Munster), Andrew Conway (Munster), Jamison Gibson-Park (Leinster), Mack Hansen (Connacht, Robbie Henshaw (Leinster), James Hume (Ulster), Hugo Keenan (Leinster), Jordan Larmour (Leinster), Michael Lowry (Ulster), Conor Murray (Munster), Garry Ringrose (Leinster), Johnny Sexton (Leinster) (capt).

Forwards (20)
Ryan Baird (Leinster), Finlay Bealham (Connacht), Tadhg Beirne (Munster), Jack Conan (Leinster), Gavin Coombes (Munster), Caelan Doris (Leinster), Tadhg Furlong (Leinster), Cian Healy (Leinster), Dave Heffernan (Connacht), Iain Henderson (Ulster), Rónan Kelleher (Leinster), Dave Kilcoyne (Munster), Peter O'Mahony (Munster), Tom O'Toole (Ulster), Andrew Porter (Leinster), James Ryan (Leinster), Dan Sheehan (Leinster), Nick Timoney (Ulster), Kieran Treadwell (Ulster), Josh van der Flier (Leinster)

FRANCE (squad):
Demba Bamba, Jean-Baptiste Gros, Cyril Baille , Uini Atonio , Dorian Aldegheri , Daniel Bibi Biziwu.
Hookers : Julien Marchand, Peato Mauvaka, Gaëtan Barlot.
Locks: Paul Willemse , Bernard Le Roux , Thibaud Flament, Thomas Lavault, Romain Taofifenua ,
Backrows: Ibrahim Diallo, Paul Boudehent, Grégory Alldritt, Anthony Jelonch, Cameron Woki, Dylan Cretin, Sekou Macalou, François Cros., Yoan Tanga.
Scrumhalves : Maxime Lucu , Antoine Dupont , Baptiste Couilloud.
Outhalves: Matthieu Jalibert , Romain Ntamack, Antoine Hastoy.
Centers: Gael Fickou , Virimi Vakatawa , Yoram Moefana, Jonathan Danty , Tani Vili , Jules Favre.
Back three : Damian Penaud, Donovan Taofifenua, Gabin Villière, Matthis Lebel, Melvyn Jaminet, Brice Dulin, Thomas Ramos.