What time, what channel, team news and all you need to know about the Six Nations showdown
Ireland take on France in Six Nations action on Saturday. Here’s all you need to know about the match.
Why is the match so important?
After last Saturday’s 29-10 opening Six Nations win over Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Andy Farrell’s squad travel to face France at the Stade de France in Paris searching for another victory in their bid for an elusive grand slam.
France themselves enjoyed an opening day win, courtesy of their 37-10 triumph over Italy, so the grand slam is very much in the balance for both teams on Saturday.
What is a grand slam?
In the Six Nations championship, a ‘grand slam’ happens when a nation beats all the other five nations in the group. The Six Nations championship can, of course, still be won without winning the grand slam – but given that Ireland has only won the grand slam three times in its history – in 1948, 2009 and 2018 – it’s quite an achievement.
What are the teams?
With the disappointing news that talisman Johnny Sexton won’t be playing, here’s the team Ireland head coach Farrell has selected for the game. France have also named their starting line-up.
Ireland: H Keenan; A Conway, G Ringrose, B Aki, M Hansen; J Carbery, J Gibson-Park; A Porter, R Kelleher, T Furlong; T Beirne, J Ryan (capt); C Doris, J van der Flier, J Conan. Reps: D Sheehan, C Healy, F Bealham, I Henderson, P O'Mahony, C Murray, J Carbery, R Henshaw.
France: M Jaminet; D Penaud, G Fickou, Y Moefana, G Villiere; R Ntamack, A Dupont; C Baille, J Marchand, U Atonio; C Woki, P Willemse; F Cros, A Jelonch, G Aldritt. Reps: P Mauvaka, JB Gros, D Bamba, R Taofifenua, T Flament, D Cretin, M Lucu, T Ramos.
What is Ireland’s record in Paris like?
Overall, Ireland’s senior rugby record against France is as follows: Matches played: 100, Matches won by Ireland: 35, Matches won by France: 58, Matches drawn: 7.
Ireland’s previous Six Nations win against France came in 2018, a 15-13 victory for Joe Schmidt’s side.
In the Five Nations championship, Ireland recorded six victories over France at the Parc Des Princes in Paris between 1910 and 1928.
Wins became ever fewer after that with Ireland claiming only five wins in the competition on French soil between 1928 and 2021. These famous victories cames in 1952, 1972, 2000, 2014 and 2018.
Where can I watch the match and what time is it starting?
The game kicks off at 4.45pm on Saturday and will be shown live on Virgin Media One with coverage starting at 4pm.
What are Ireland’s chances of winning in Paris?
The bookmakers’ odds are: France to win 8/13, Ireland to win 11/8. draw 16/1.
What did the head coaches say?
Andy Farrell (Ireland): “We play the same game, we keep making good decisions. We play what is in front of us; nothing changes as far as that is concerned. Obviously Johnny (Sexton) is an important member of our group being skipper of the side. He is integral to how we push forward with many parts of our environment but at the same time this is about the group. Johnny will travel with us and be as leading (sic) as he possibly can be. It’s a great development for us as a team going forward as well and we still expect ourselves to be at our best in Paris on Saturday.”
Fabien Galthie (France): “It's going to be a tough match. Ireland arrive on a winning streak, the status of European number one and world number three. They will be coming to Paris with the ambition of snatching victory and clearly we are going to face the toughest opponent in terms of adversity. We will have to improve in all departments on Saturday because we are going to be stretched to the limit.”
What are the other Six Nations games this weekend?
Saturday February 12: Wales v Scotland, Millennium Stadium (KO 2.15pm, RTÉ2)
Sunday February 13: Italy v England, Stadio Olimpico (3pm, Virgin Media One)
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