Ireland Gear Up For 6 Nations Clash With France

Ireland Gear Up For 6 Nations Clash With France

Ireland Gear Up For 6 Nations Clash With France

Joe Lovelace, Head of PR at Marathonbet, has been discussing England and who the bookies say are their closest rivals: "Under Eddie Jones, England have been imperious, winning 22 out of a possible 23 Test matches, deservedly heading into the championship as the bookmaker's favourites". "Everyone's taking an interest in him, he's mature and he can handle it". The stakes were high, the pressure was on, but the players backed themselves. "We just were a little bit under-prepared in the two weeks leading up to it".

Replacements: Adrien Pelissie, Dany Priso, Cedate Gomes Sa, Paul Gabrillagues, Marco Tauleigne, Antoine Dupont, Anthony Belleau, Benjamin Fall.

Despite the obvious agony of their knee injuries, both players were registered as head-injury assessments, conjuring memories of France's win over Wales here last season.

It all promises to be another thrilling tournament no doubt full of intrigue controversy and hopefully a few shocks
It all promises to be another thrilling tournament no doubt full of intrigue controversy and hopefully a few shocks

Yes, a teenager, a 19-year-old, will start an global match in one of the most competitive rugby competitions in the world against one of the tournament favourites.

Seven Leinster players have been selected by Schmidt for the match at the Stade de France, while Munster have four players in the starting XV in Paris.

The former Ireland U-20 captain does have work to do - what 21-year-old professional doesn't?

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Brunel will need to re-invigorate a France side that has looked lacklustre in recent internationals, beaten by New Zealand twice, narrowly losing to South Africa and only managing a draw against Japan.

Josh van der Flier gets the nod at openside flanker in the absence of the injured Sean O'Brien, while Luke McGrath is on the bench to cover scrumhalf ahead of Kieran Marmion. The world class half-back pairing of Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray, with nearly 130 caps between them, have far more experience than their French counterparts, Maxime Machenaud, 31 caps, and 19-year-old Matthieu Jalibert who is making his debut.

"I'd hope that it's not". "When he struck the drop goal I was just willing it to have enough distance to get over". As French medics rushed to tend to their fallen man, the official word back to referee Nigel Owens was that Dupont was to be taken off for a head injury assessment (HIA).

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"They're (Aki &Stockdale) really exited about getting that opportunity and I don't think there's a better place to be than in-between Johnny Sexton and Robbie Henshaw, if you're making a debut in the Six Nations".

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