Saturday, February 11, 2012

6 NATIONS TEST RUGBY: Ireland Travel to Paris

Ireland v France in Paris (6 Nations)

Venue: Stade de France

Referee: David Pearson (England)

Ireland will face a French side that is looking to be the favourite to take out the 2012 6 Nations International Championship. They will also have to contend with a frozen ground and a match played in –6deg temperatures.

Ireland also have history to deal with. Their record in Paris is dismal. Their last win here was in 2000, and before that they last won in 1972!

The only change Ireland has made is that Keith Earls comes in at centre for McFadden to go to the bench.

France has made wholesale changes to the team that defeated Italy comfortably last weekend. Such is the confidence of the new coach that he can afford to rotate his players. The French side loses little with the changes made.

In comes Harinordoquy for Bonnaire, Parra for the injured Yachvilli, Maestri for veteran Nallet, with Szarzewski and Poux in for Servat and Debaty in the front row.

Frozen pitch or not Ireland will have to play the sort of rugby they dished out to Australia at Eden Park way back in September if they are to overcome this French side. I just can’t seem to see that same same passions and fire in the Irish eyes.

Last Five Encounters
20.08.2011 France 26-22 in Dublin (World Cup Warm up)
13.08.2011 France 19-12 in Bordeaux (World Cup Warm up)
13.02.2011 France 25-22 in Dublin (6 Nations)
13.02.2010 France 33-10 in Paris (6 Nations)
07.02.2009 Ireland 31-20 in Dublin (6 Nations)

Ireland last defeated France in Paris in 2000, winning 27-25.

Ireland last Five
05.02.2012 v Wales L 21-23 in Dublin (6 Nations)
08.10.2011 v Wales L 10-22 in Wellington (World Cup, Quarter Final)
02.10.2011 v Italy W 36-6 in Dunedin (World Cup, Pool C)
25.09.2011 v Russia W 62-12 in Rotorua (World Cup, Pool C)
17.09.2011 v Australia W 15-6 in Auckland (World Cup, Pool C)

France Last Five
04.02.2012 v Italy W 30-12 in Paris (6 Nations)
23.01.2011 v New Zealand L 7-8 in Auckland (World Cup, Final)
15.10.2011 v Wales W 9-8 in Auckland (World Cup, Semi-Final)
08.10.2011 v England W 19-12 in Auckland (World Cup, Quarter Final)
01.10.2011 v Tonga L 14-19 in Wellington (World Cup, Pool A)

GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-France 4th, Ireland 6th
Europe Table-France 1st, Ireland 5th

IRB Ranking Points
France 84.70, Ireland 79.25

Prediction: France by 15 points




15   Rob Kearney  Leinster
14   Tommy Bowe  Neath Swansea Ospreys, Wales
13   Keith Earls Munster
12   Gordon D'Arcy  Leinster
11   Andrew Trimble  Ulster
10   Jonathan Sexton  Leinster
9   Conor Murray  Munster
8   James Heaslip  Leinster
7   Sean O'Brien  Leinster
6   Stephen Ferris  Ulster
5   Paul O'Connell (Capt.) Munster
4   Donncha O'Callaghan  Munster
3   Michael Ross  Leinster
2   Rory Best  Ulster
1   Cian Healy  Leinster
16   Sean Cronin  Leinster
17   Thomas Court  Ulster
18   Donnacha Ryan  Munster
19   Peter O'Mahony  Munster
20   Eoin Reddan  Leinster
21   Ronan O'Gara  Munster
22   Fergus McFadden  Leinster
    COACH: Declan Kidney



15   Maxime Medard Toulouse
14   Vincent Clerc Toulouse
13   Aurelien Rougerie  Clermont Auvergne
12   Wesley Fofana Clermont Auvergne
11   Julien Malzieu Clermont Auvergne
10   François Trinh-Duc  Montpellier
9   Morgan Parra  Clermont Auvergne
8   Louis Picamoles  Toulouse
7   Imanol Harinordoquy  Biarritz
6   Thierry Dusautoir (Capt.) Toulouse
5   Yoann Maestri  Toulouse
4   Pascal Pape Stade Francais
3   Nicolas Mas  Perpignan
2   Dimitri Szarzewski  Stade Francais
1   Jean-Baptiste Poux  Toulouse
16   William Servat  Toulouse
17   Vincent Debaty Clermont Auvergne
18   Lionel Nallet  Racing Metro
19   Julien Bonnaire Clermont Auvergne
20   Julian Dupuy Stade Français
21   Lionel Beauxis  Toulouse
22   Maxime Mermoz  Perpignan
    HEAD COACH: Philippe Saint-Andre

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