France and Ireland entered the 2023 Six Nations as the favourites and their showdown in the second round of fixtures could decide who wins a Grand Slam, after both sides won their opening games – against Italy and Wales respectively.
France particularly are entering a landmark year. Not only do they have the chance to win back-to-back grand slams but they are also preparing for a home World Cup in the autumn.
In an interview with Telegraph Sport, head coach Fabien Galthié said: “It is so important to remain at the top. Not just this year, but we need to stay there for the next 10 years. This needs to be the start of a positive cycle. Those are the stakes: keeping French rugby at a high level.
“To do that, this is fundamental: we must continue to work in osmosis with the clubs. The clubs and the Fédération Française de Rugby must keep working together.”
When and where is Ireland v France?
This second-round match between Ireland and France will take place on Saturday February 11, with kick-off at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin at 2.15pm (GMT).
The other matches that weekend are Scotland v Wales at 4.45pm on the Saturday and England v Italy on Sunday at 3pm.
What TV channel is Ireland v France on?
Ireland vs France will be shown on ITV.
What is the latest team news?
Ireland made one change for Saturday’s potentially pivotal Six Nations clash at home to France, with Ulster’s Rob Herring replacing Dan Sheehan after the increasingly influential young hooker was ruled out through injury.
After following up recent victories over New Zealand, South Africa and Australia with a clinical week one win over Wales, Ireland face the only team in world rugby with a better record than them as France chase a 15th win in a row.
Sheehan joins fellow first choice front row Tadhg Furlong on the sidelines and his loss will be particularly felt in the loose, where his speed and power has become an important part of Ireland’s attack and defence.
Ireland starting XV: 15. Hugo Keenan, 14. Mack Hansen, 13. Garry Ringrose, 12. Stuart McCloskey, 11. James Lowe, 10. Johnny Sexton, 9. Conor Murray, 1. Andrew Porter, 2. Rob Herring, 3. Finlay Bealham, 4. Tadhg Beirne. 5. James Ryan, 6. Peter O’Mahony, 7. Josh van der Flier, 8. Caelan Doris (Leinster) 24 caps
Replacements: 16. Ronan Kelleher, 17. Dave Kilcoyne, 18. Tom O’Toole, 19. Iain Henderson, 20. Jack Conan, 21. Craig Casey, 22. Ross Byrne, 23. Bundee Aki
France head coach Fabien Galthie has named an unchanged starting XV for Saturday’s crunch Guinness Six Nations clash with Ireland.
The reigning Grand Slam champions travel to Dublin after beginning the championship with an unconvincing 29-24 success away to Italy.
Despite surviving a scare in Rome, Galthie has kept faith with his team going into a potential title decider at the Aviva Stadium.
His only changes come on the bench where Toulouse back-rower Francois Cros and Lyon scrum-half Baptiste Couilloud replace La Rochelle lock Thomas Lavault and Racing 92 number nine Nolann Le Garrec.
Starting XV: Thomas Ramos; Damian Penaud, Gaël Fickou, Yoram Moefana, Ethan Dumortier; Romain Ntamack, Antoine Dupont (c); Gregory Alldritt, Charles Ollivon, Anthony Jelonch, Paul Willemse, Thibaud Flament, Uini Atonio, Julien Marchand, Cyril Baille.
Replacements: Gaëtan Barlot, Reda Wardi, Sipili Falatea, Romain Taofifenua, Thomas Lavault, Sekou Macalou, Nolann Le Garrec, Matthieu Jalibert
What happened in this fixture in 2022?
France set themselves on course for grand slam victory overcoming a well-fancied Ireland 30-24 at the Stade de France. Antoine Dupont opened the scoring with a try 67 seconds into the match, setting up an early lead for the home side, and although Ireland gathered themselves to come within a point’s striking distance, they were unable to extend their nine match-winning run.
Read Telegraph Sport’s full coverage of the match here.
Who is the referee?
Englishman Wayne Barnes will take charge of the match, with assistance coming from Matthew Carley (RFU) and Jordan Way (RA). Brendon Pickerill (NZR), meanwhile, will be television match official (TMO) for the day.
Ireland v France best of the latest odds
- Ireland: 7/15
- Draw: 24/1
- France: 21/10
Odds correct as of February 8
What is our prediction?
Ireland 17 France 15
Arguably the most competitive game the Six Nations has ever seen, with Ireland to edge it if they can contain the France scrum.