O'Driscoll And O'Connell Both Hugely Critical Of France HIA Farce

06 February, 2018, 14:50 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Scotland stunned Ireland at Murrayfield in the opening match last year

The 19-year-old Jalibert, who will make his worldwide debut at the Stade de France three months after starting his first Top 14 match with Bordeaux-Begles, has been paired with the in-form Maxime Machenaud after Morgan Parra was ruled out injured.

Having returned from injury in time for the last November series, the former Cooley Kickhams GAA player is set to earn his 79th cap and 75th start against the French.

If it had been a knee injury, seasoned scrum-half Maxime Machenaud would not have been allowed return to the game.

Leinster lock James Ryan dislodged Ireland mainstay Devin Toner to make just his second test start on Saturday against France in Six Nations rugby. It was hard to clear our ball a number of times but we didn't appear to be going to get much of a chance there.

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"No one thinks we can win the Six Nations so we have got an opportunity to hunt the other teams down". The world class half-back pairing of Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray, with nearly 130 caps between them, have far more experience than their French counterparts, Maxime Machenaud, 31 caps, and 19-year-old Matthieu Jalibert who is making his debut.

In what can already be described as a remarkable career, Nigel Owens will achieve another milestone tomorrow in Paris when he takes charge of the NatWest 6 Nations clash between France and Ireland.

However we have seen in the past how devastating a French team can be when they play with no fear or restraint.

France coach Jacques Brunel told Reuters that the "players did have knee injuries, but the independent doctor decided on the HIA". We played a number of phases, a cross-kick for Keith Earls, who lept three or four feet into the air to claim it. I think protecting the players has been ramped up since we were involved two years ago.

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Les Bleus were not lacking endeavour, but struggled to cause problems for a well-drilled Ireland side and more indiscipline enabled Sexton to double their lead from the tee.

Asked if Ryan is ready for the expected step up in intensity in Paris, Schmidt replied: "Well one of the reasons he's in the team is so we can find out".

"We want to be able to keep building in that position (of second row), it's a position we probably don't have huge depth in". "This Six Nations, we have the youngest squad we have had and there is a degree of excitement in that", said the New Zealander, whose side have an average age of 26.5.

Schmidt explained: "We felt he went really well against Montpellier and we are looking forward to seeing what he will deliver". So I'd hope that it's not.

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