February 21 2012
Jonny Sexton is fit to take on the Italians. The fly half might have missed the game against France but is all the better for the lay off ...
The Leinster stand-off believes he could have started against the French and is keen to get the frustration of the defeat against Wales out of his system.
"I was fit to play over in Paris," he said. "I just had a slight niggle a couple of days beforehand but it was fine.
"I've recovered enough. It was a weird week. We came in for a one-day camp last week and the lads are excited about getting back playing now."
Declan Kidney has named the same Irish side that he picked for the postponed clash against France for Saturday's Six Nations game against Italy.
The replacements bench is also unchanged from the postponed Paris clash with uncapped Munster player Peter O'Mahony again included.
Ireland : Rob Kearney (Leinster), Tommy Bowe (Ospreys), Keith Earls (Munster), Gordon D'Arcy (Leinster), Andrew Trimble (Ulster), Jonathan Sexton (Leinster), Conor Murray (Munster); Cian Healy (Leinster), Rory Best (Ulster), Mike Ross (Leinster), Donncha O'Callaghan (Munster), Paul O'Connell (Munster, capt), Stephen Ferris (Ulster), Sean O'Brien (Leinster), Jamie Heaslip (Leinster).
Replacements: Sean Cronin (Leinster), Tom Court (Ulster), Donnacha Ryan (Munster), Peter O'Mahony (Munster), Eoin Reddan (Leinster), Ronan O'Gara (Munster), Fergus McFadden (Leinster).