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Crest_1_FruThe teams were announced yesterday for Ireland’s Six Nation’s match against France which takes place Saturday afternoon at Stade de France. Kick off 14:25, live on BBC.

The return of Rob  Kearney and and Sean O’Brien, from hamstring injuries, leaves us with the team that most people predicted but not necessarily the one that most people wanted, with the return of Kearney to the full back berth causing the most disquiet.

A groundswell of opinion was hoping for Stuart McCloskey to get the nod alongside Robbie Henshaw in midfield and Jarred Payne at fullback but disappointingly Joe Schmidt has stuck with the status quo and the lack of experimentation by Ireland between World Cups continues to be a source of irritation, for this writer at least!

However I suspect that most of the backs will be peripheral to events on Saturday afternoon with France opting to take Ireland on up front by attacking perceived weaknesses’ in the front five. It’s also debatable if O’Brien’s return will strengthen an already formidable back row for Ireland as the opting of O’Briens power over the pace of Tommy O’Donnell may weaken the effectiveness of the foraging unit as a whole.

But hey, it’s France, and a France looking to “find themselves” at that, so who knows what way this one will go. I can imagine every scenario from a rampaging French pack destroying Ireland up front to Ireland strolling home following an error ridden display from the hosts and I’m struggling to decide which one is the most likely.

The FRU Predicts: The way my predictions have been going this season we’ll probably have a comfortable win for Ireland with Rob Kearney and Sean O’Brien both scoring, so lets stick with that! 🙂

FRANCE   IRELAND
Maxime Médard 15 Rob Kearney
Teddy Thomas 14 Andrew Trimble
Maxime Mermoz 13 Jared Payne
Jonathan Danty 12 Robbie Henshaw
Virimi Vakatawa 11 Dave Kearney
Jules Plisson 10 Jonathan Sexton
Sébastien Bézy 9 Conor Murray
Jefferson Poirot 1 Jack McGrath
Guilhem Guirado 2 Rory Best
Uini Atonio 3 Nathan White
Alexandre Flanquart 4 Devin Toner
Yoann Maestri 5 Mike McCarthy
Wenceslas Lauret 6 CJ Stander
Yacouba Camara 7 Sean O’Brien
Damien Chouly 8 Jamie Heaslip
Camille Chat 16 Richard Strauss
Rabah Slimani 17 James Cronin
Eddy Ben Arous 18 Tadhg Furlong
Paul Jedrasiak 19 Donnacha Ryan
Loann Goujon 20 Tommy O’Donnell
Maxime Machenaud 21 Eoin Reddan
Jean-Marc Doussain 22 Ian Madigan
Hugo Bonneval 23 Fergus McFadden
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