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
|14||Tommy Bowe||Neath Swansea Ospreys, Wales|
|5||Paul O'Connell (Capt.)||Munster|
|COACH: Declan Kidney|
|13||Aurelien Rougerie||Clermont Auvergne|
|12||Wesley Fofana||Clermont Auvergne|
|11||Julien Malzieu||Clermont Auvergne|
|9||Morgan Parra||Clermont Auvergne|
|6||Thierry Dusautoir (Capt.)||Toulouse|
|4||Pascal Pape||Stade Francais|
|2||Dimitri Szarzewski||Stade Francais|
|17||Vincent Debaty||Clermont Auvergne|
|18||Lionel Nallet||Racing Metro|
|19||Julien Bonnaire||Clermont Auvergne|
|20||Julian Dupuy||Stade Français|
|HEAD COACH: Philippe Saint-Andre|