Published: Wed, February 07, 2018
Sport | By Stuart Potter

SIX NATIONS RUGBY: Ireland snatch dramatic victory in Paris

SIX NATIONS RUGBY: Ireland snatch dramatic victory in Paris

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has named 11 British and Irish Lions players in his starting line-up for this weekend's Six Nations opener against France as they attempt to claim just their second victory in Paris in 17 years.

France coach Brunel said there was no reason not to blood Jalibert in the game.

Ireland captain Rory Best has warned his team's form in their November internationals, when they beat both South Africa and Argentina, means little as they begin their Six Nations campaign against France on Saturday.

It didn't take Ireland long to get things going as early bursts from wingers Keith Earls and Jacob Stockdale took the visitors deep into French territory.

"I think he'll give us security, he's well built and has a big left boot which can be useful to us".

Despite this, France have undoubted quality in scrum-half Maxime Machenaud and hooker, Guilhem Guirado.

France boss Jacques Brunel insisted this was ordered by the independent doctor at the Stade de France match, and that Les Bleus had no control over the issue.

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Ireland's back-row of Stander, Josh van der Flier and Peter O'Mahony could be forgiven for licking their lips at the prospect of hunting down an untried No 10 - but the Munster loose-forward insisted Ireland must keep a close eye on France's latest prodigy.

"For the first time in a while though we've seen a number of punters backing Scotland to go all the way - testament to an impressive 2017 that saw them beat Ireland, Wales and Australia with Gregor Townsend's expensive brand of rugby".

Former Ireland skipper Brian O'Driscoll was among those who questioned the fairness of the decisions.

"I thought it was pretty disgraceful". And I don't think he was really thinking too much about history, he just stepped and seized the moment and he did it with absolute aplomb.

"All that would have crumbled today if we had lost. We're going to try to provide him (Jalibert) with the same conditions and we hope he'll succeed in the same way as those I've just mentioned". 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).

It's less than eight months since Six Nations chiefs reprimanded France for infringing the replacement laws.

"A third straight Six Nations would be impressive but a host of injuries to key players makes this even tougher".

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