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Guinness Six Nations – Ireland v France

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Ireland will have to step up big time at home this weekend when they face early favourites France on Sunday in the last match of the weekend.

It was a gutsy performance for 65 minutes from the 14-man Irish squad that went down to Wales last weekend and a win is the only option for Farrell men.

It will not be easy against a French side who has been on the up since 2020 and coming off a good win over Italy in round 1.

If things are not already hard enough for the Irish, they will have to face the French without their captain Johnny Sexton who has been left out for this weekend. James Ryan will also miss the clash this weekend.

Sexton and Ryan suffered head injuries against Wales and a currently under going their return-to-play protocols.

Sexton halfback partner Murray will also be out due to a hamstring problem. Jamison Gibson-Park will come in at nine for Murray.

Ian Henderson will lead the side while Billy Burns will start in the number 10 jumper.

CJ Stander and van der Filer will be joined by Rhys Ruddock who will take the blindside for this weekend.

Henshaw and Ringrose will form the midfield pair with the back three staying the same as last week.

Farrell has made four changes on the bench with Ed Byrne, Ultan Dillane, Ross Byrne and the uncapped Craig Casey come in with Ronan Kelleher, Tadgh Furlong, Will Connors and Jordan Larmour complete the bench.

The French has made two changes to their starting XV with Damian Penaud who takes the place of Thomas. Anthony Jelonch comes in for Dylan Cretin joining Ollivan and Alldritt in the back-row.

On the bench there is also three changes with Hassane Kolingar and Uini Atonio coming in as two new props as well as Anthony Bouthier who takes the place of Louis Carbonel.

Prediction: Although Ireland are at home we believe that France will be too strong, we give it to the French by 7

Teams:

Ireland: 15 Hugo Keenan, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 James Lowe, 10 Billy Burns, 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Rhys Ruddock, 5 Iain Henderson (c), 4 Tadhg Beirne, 3 Andrew Porter, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Cian Healy
Replacements: 16 Ronan Kelleher, 17 Ed Byrne, 18 Tadhg Furlong, 19 Ultan Dillane, 20 Will Connors, 21 Craig Casey, 22 Ross Byrne, 23 Jordan Larmour

France: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Damian Penaud, 13 Arthur Vincent, 12 Gael Fickou, 11 Gabin Villiere, 10 Matthieu Jalibert, 9 Antoine Dupont, 8 Gregory Alldritt, 7 Charles Ollivon (c), 6 Anthony Jelonch, 5 Paul Willemse, 4 Bernard le Roux, 3 Mohamed Haouas, 2 Julien Marchand, 1 Cyril Baille
Replacements: 16 Pierre Bourgarit, 17 Hassane Kolingar, 18 Uini Atonio, 19 Romain Taofifenua, 20 Dylan Cretin, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Anthony Bouthier, 23 Teddy Thoma

The match will be live on SuperSport at 17:00 on Sunday

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