France and Ireland entered the 2023 Six Nations as the favorites and their second round clash could decide who wins a Grand Slam, after both sides won their opening matches – against Italy and Wales respectively.
France in particular is entering a milestone year. Not only do they have the chance to win back-to-back grand slams, but they are also preparing for a World Cup at home in the fall.
In an interview with Telegraph Sport, national coach Fabien Galthié said: “It is so important to stay at the top. Not just this year, but we have to stay there for the next 10 years. This should be the start of a positive cycle. That is the stake: to keep 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 continue to work together.”
When and where is Ireland v France?
This second round match between Ireland and France takes place on Saturday 11 February, with kick-off at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium at 2.15pm (GMT).
The other matches that weekend are Scotland v Wales on Saturday at 4.45pm 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?
Head coach Andy Farrell has yet to name his team, but will choose from the following 36-man roster:
ridges: Bundee Aki, Caolin Blade, Ross Byrne, Craig Casey, Jack Crowley, Keith Earls, Jamison Gibson Park, Mack Hansen, Hugo Keenan, Jordan Larmour, James Lowe, Stuart McCloskey, Conor Murray, Jimmy O’Brien, Jamie Osborne,
Garry Ringrose, Johnny Sexton, Jacob Stockdale.
Forward: Ryan Baird, Finlay Bealham, Tadhg Beirne, Jack Conan, Gavin Coombes, Caelan Doris, Tadhg Furlong, Cian Healy, Iain Henderson, Rob Herring, Ronan Kelleher, Dave Kilcoyne, Joe McCarthy, Michael Milne, Peter O’Mahony, Tom O’ Toole, Andrew Porter, Cian Prendergast, James Ryan, Roman Salanoa, Dan Sheehan, Tom Stewart, Josh van der Flier.
Antoine Dupont will once again captain France, while Toulouse teammate Romain Ntamack will start in the number 10 jersey. Full-back Thomas Ramos kicks in front of goal for Galthié’s side.
Thomas Ramos; Damian Penaud, Gael 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: Gaetan Barlot, Reda Wardi, Sipili Falatea, Romain Taofifenua, Thomas Lavault, Sekou Macalou, Nolann Le Garrec, Matthieu Jalibert.
What happened in this luminaire in 2022?
France set course for grand slam victory by defeating a benevolent Ireland 30-24 at the Stade de France. Antoine Dupont opened the scoring with a try in the 67 seconds of the game, putting the home side into an early lead, and although Ireland rallied to come within striking distance of a point, they were unable to continue their run of extending nine winning games.
Read Telegraph Sport’s full coverage of the match here.
Who is the referee?
Englishman Wayne Barnes will officiate the game, assisted by Matthew Carley (RFU) and Jordan Way (RA). Brendon Pickerill (NZR) will be the Official Television Match (TMO) that day.
Ireland v France best of last odds
To draw: 24/1
The odds are correct as of February 8
What is our prediction?
Ireland 17 France 15
Arguably the most competitive game the Six Nations have ever seen, with Ireland ahead if they can tame the French scrum.