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RBS 6 Nations 2011: Ireland v France Preview

Ireland v France, RBS 6 Nations 2011, will kick-off on the afternoon of Sunday 13th February 2011 at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin – the fist 6 Nations match in the new home of Irish rugby – as the first real battle between favourites for this year’s title takes place.

Ireland showed their grit, determination and professionalism to come from behind and claim a last-gasp victory in Rome last week, despite never really getting started, while France were also slightly lacklustre, and were boo’ed from the Stade de France by their home support as they beat Scotland.

Both sides can do better; both sides have a point to prove; both sides need a victory to keep alive any Championship – and Grand Slam – ambitions they might harbour.

Starting Line-ups

Ireland Starting XV

    • 15. Luke Fitzgerald (Blackrock College/Leinster)
    • 14. Fergus McFadden (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
    • 13. Brian O’Driscoll (UCD/Leinster) (capt)
    • 12. Gordon D’Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster)
    • 11. Keith Earls (Thomond/Munster)
    • 10. Jonathan Sexton (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
    • 9. Tomas O’Leary (Dolphin/Munster)
    • 8. Jamie Heaslip (Naas/Leinster)
    • 7. David Wallace (Garryowen/Munster)
    • 6. Sean O’Brien (Clontarf/Leinster)
    • 5. Paul O’Connell (Young Munster/Munster)
    • 4. Donncha O’Callaghan (Cork Constitution/Munster)
    • 3. Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster)
    • 2. Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster)
    • 1. Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)

      Ireland Replacements

        • 16. Sean Cronin (Buccaneers/Connacht)
        • 17. Tom Court (Malone/Ulster)
        • 18. Leo Cullen (Blackrock College/Leinster)
        • 19. Denis Leamy (Cork Constitution/Munster)
        • 20. Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster)
        • 21. Ronan O’Gara (Cork Constitution/Munster)
        • 22. Paddy Wallace (Ballymena/Ulster)

          France Starting XV

            • 15. Clement Poitrenaud (Stade Toulousain)
            • 14. Yoann Huget (Aviron Bayonnais)
            • 13. Aurelien Rougerie (Clermont Auvergne)
            • 12. Damien Traile (Biarritz Olympique)
            • 11. Maxime Medard (Stade Toulousain)
            • 10. Francois Trinh-Duc (Montpellier)
            • 9. Morgan Parra (Clermont Auvergne)
            • 8. Imanol Harinordoquy (Biarritz Olympique)
            • 7. Julien Bonnaire (Clermont Auvergne)
            • 6. Thierry Dusatoir (Stade Toulousain)
            • 5. Lionel Nallet (Racing Metro)
            • 4. Julien Pierre (Clermont Auvergne)
            • 3. Nicolas Mas (Perpignan)
            • 2. William Servat (Stade Toulousain)
            • 1. Thomas Domingo (Clermont Auvergne)

              France Replacements

                • 16. Guilhem Guirado (Perpignan)
                • 17. Sylvain Marconnet (Biarritz Olympique)
                • 18. Jerome Thion (Biarritz Olympique)
                • 19. Sebastian Chabal (Racing Metro)
                • 20. Dimitri Yachvili (Biarritz Olympique)
                • 21. Yannick Jauzion (Stade Toulousain)
                • 22. Vincent Clerc (Stade Toulousain)

                  Match Officials

                  • Referee: Dave Pearson (England)
                  • Assistant Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
                  • Assistant Referee: David Changleng (Scotland)
                  • TMO: Geoff Warren (England)

                  Ireland v France RBS 6 Nations 2011 – Match Prediction

                  Ireland and France both need to play better than they did last week and, as two sides with much international rugby union experience in their ranks, when required, they will both find more of a performance than that which was produced in their respective curtain-raisers last week.

                  France look to have more impact in their backs, though both sides are equally strong up front. Ireland once again miss Tommy Boyd, who has proved to be an excellent finisher in recent years, and it could well be that key factor that impacts upon the result in this match: France will score at least once in each half, it is felt; whether or not Ireland can match that is the major question mark at the Aviva.

                  With home advantage, and the mercurial Brian O’Driscoll on the park, there’s always a possibility of a line-break for Ireland, plus France have shown, against Australia and then Scotland, most recently, that they are not entirely impervious at the back.

                  However, France are extremely strong going forward, with the ball in hand, and this match, which should see both sides comfortably into double figures, will probably go to the visitors by somewhere in the region of 10 points. But Ireland have plenty of point scoring ability of their own, and bags of professionalism and determination in their locker: if they remain within seven points of France, they are never out of this match; if things go their way in key areas of the pitch, they could just as easily win this match by the same margin.

                  This is an exciting prospect for all rugby fans; its what the RBS 6 Nations is all about

                  Match Details

                  Ireland v France will kick off at 15:00 GMT (16:00 CET) on Sunday 13th February 2011, at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin.

                  About Robin Scott

                  Robin Scott
                  Robin Scott is co-founder and publisher of The Global Herald.

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