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France's Team For Sunday Plays Right Into Every Irish Player's Childhood

France's Team For Sunday Plays Right Into Every Irish Player's Childhood
Conor O'Leary
By Conor O'Leary
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Sunday may well go down as one of the biggest days of Irish sport with both the national football, and national rugby teams playing crucial games against Poland and France respectively.

But it's not just those two sports that will be showcased. The Ireland rugby team has long used the skills and talents developed from playing GAA in their game-plans, and Sunday will be no different.

In fact, France's team selection may have played right into the hands of our GAA raised team. Schmidt is set to name former Monaghan minor Tommy Bowe, whilst former Louth minor footballer Rob Kearney and his brother Dave will complete a back three trio that are exceptional at plucking the ball out of the air. Add in converted fullbacks Robbie Henshaw and Jared Payne, and there is a huge hint that Ireland will take to the skies with some aerial bombs on the French back three.

Phillip Saint Andre has anticipated this tactic, naming Brice Dulin - normally a full-back - on the left wing. The French thinking seems to be that Dulin's fielding skills is worth more to France than Remy Grosso.


There's just one massive oversight. Dulin, standing at 5'10'' is giving up six inches to 6'4'' Tommy Bowe on one wing, while the dangerous, but defensively naive Noa Nakaitaci can be exposed by Sexton's kicking on the other wing.

The rest of the French selections are exactly what was expected. Bastareaud and Fofana renew their centre partnership, while Louis Picamoles makes his 50th appearance for France.


Pascal Pape will face Jamie Heaslip for the first time since his ban for kneeing Heaslip in the back that fractured three vertebrae.

Joe Schmidt will confirm his Ireland team at lunchtime today.

See Also: Ireland's Likely Team To Play France Features Several Surprising Calls

Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE


See Also: France Have A Plan For Johnny Sexton And It Sounds Like It's Going To Hurt

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