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2019-20 France Men International Rugby Men Ireland Men Six Nations

Six Nations: Teams up for Ireland v France

The teams have been announced for “Le Crunch” as Ireland travel to Paris for the final round of the 2019 – 20 Six Nations.

They may be seven months behind schedule but the Six Nations has delivered another Super Saturday with three teams going into the final round with a chance of claiming the trophy.

Ireland are the only side with their fate in their own hands, a bonus point win against France will secure the title for Ireland. However, it’s a big ask, and the Green Machine will be stretched against Les Bleus.

England go into the final weekend as favourites, with the more likely scenario of clocking up a big scoring bonus point win against Italy and sitting back and watching France and Ireland battling out a tight, low scoring, game.

France can only, realistically, win the title should England struggle to enhance their points difference in their earlier match against Italy. However, the French would, probably, still be looking for a bonus point win against Ireland in the most likely scenarios.

Mind you, in an absolutely bat shit crazy year anything can happen. A decidedly undercooked England could struggle against an Italian side keen to leave some sort of impression on this seasons Six Nations. Ireland and France could each clock up bonus points before the break in their game, leaving it a winner takes all in the second half. Alternatively, a big win for England could see Ireland take advantage of a disinterested France! As they say in the elections there are a few paths to the Championship and Ireland probably have the most routes but England’s is the easiest.

In normal times, I feel that France are generally more focused on developing a team for World Cups whereas Ireland focus on the Six Nations. I had hoped that Andy Farrell would have brought in a few more outliers, irrespective of the perceived “importance” of this game, but that might have involved too much planning logistically at the moment. Hopefully we’ll have a clearer look at his intentions when things start to settle in the coming months.

As for this weekend, I think England will struggle to rack up the points against Italy leaving both teams with something to play for in the final game. That may be bad news for Ireland as a fully motivated France will be hard to beat!

The most interesting aspect of the game should be at half back as Ireland’s Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton come up against Romain Ntamack and Antoine Dupont for the second successive season. Do the “old dogs” have any new tricks?

France v Ireland Lineups

  • Kick off: 20:05, Saturday 31st October 2020 Stade de France, Paris.
  • Referee: Wayne Barnes.
  • Live: BBC Sport
FRANCEIRELAND
Anthony Bouthier15Jacob Stockdale
Vincent Rattez14Andrew Conway
Virimi Vakatawa13Robbie Henshaw
Arthur Vincent12Bundee Aki
Gael Fickou11Hugo Keenan
Romain Ntamack10Jonathan Sexton (C)
Antoine Dupont9Conor Murray
Cyril Baille1Cian Healy
Julien Marchand2Rob Herring
Mohamed Haouas3Andrew Porter
Bernard Le Roux4Tadhg Beirne
Paul Willemse5James Ryan
Francois Cros6Caelan Doris
Charles Ollivon (C)7Will Connors
Gregory Alldritt8CJ Stander
Camille Chat16Dave Heffernan
Jean-Baptiste Gros17Ed Byrne
Demba Bamba18Finlay Bealham
Romain Taofifenua19Ultan Dillane
Dylan Cretin20Peter O’Mahony
Baptiste Serin21Jamison Gibson Park
Arthur Retiere22Ross Byrne
Thomas Ramos23Chris Farrell

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