Who would you pick in a combined France-Ireland XV

03 February, 2018, 03:30 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Jacob Stockdale

Seven Leinster players have been selected by Schmidt for the match at the Stade de France, while Munster have four players in the starting XV in Paris.

Ireland must address their poor away form when they face France on the opening day of the Six Nations, before England start their quest to win a historic third consecutive title in Rome on Sunday.

The five Irish surnames that are showing up across the French media are Best, Ryan, Stockdale, Sexton and Stander.

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Aki starred during Ireland's clean sweep of November tests, along with wing Jacob Stockdale.

TV3 will be televising the Six Nations for the first time this year having taken over the broadcast rights from RTÉ.

Earls and Henshaw slot back in on the right wing and at outside centre respectively, determined to transfer their impressive form in Europe onto the global stage, with the latter reuniting in midfield with his former Connacht team-mate Bundee Aki, another of the tournament's exciting newcomers. "We've got a few young guts pushing through that we've given opportunities to and James is obviously one of those". "For the Lions players you can understand that the injury risk is high because of the lack of a proper pre-season that they have, but obviously they're not all Lions players".

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Ireland otherwise field an experienced side built around the halves pairing of Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray. "It's certainly nothing serious, we just need to let it settle down and he'll springboard back into things".

Best and his team are also acutely mindful of the slow start in their opening game in Murrayfield previous year. It's a team that we're not so much caught up with expectations and pressure.

'It's probably going to be a bit of a surprise for them, but they are used to big games, and they performed well in the autumn series.

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