Predicting any French team has proved a fool's errand. Even still, choosing a full-back on the wing, and rotating your starting flankers do appear to be genuine surprises from French coach Phillipe Saint Andre.
According to reports in the Midi Olympique news outlet Brice Dulin and Noa Nakaitaci are set to start on the wings with Clermont Auvergne's Damien Chouly to start ahead of Racing Metro's Bernard Le Roux.
According to @midi_olympique Brice Dulin & Nakaitaci will be the wings vs Ireland with Chouly holding off challenge of Le Roux in back-row
— gavin mortimer (@gavinmortimer7) October 5, 2015
One surpise is the potential selection of Brice Dulin on the wing. Dulin, who normally plays full-back for Racing Metro, has been deployed regularly on the wing for France in the build-up and during this World Cup. Dulin is a fairly diminutive player at 5'10'', so one would expect Joe Schmidt to use Tommy Bowe to test Dulin's GAA ability repeatedly throughout the game.
The other surprise would be Chouly being selected ahead of Le Roux in the back-row who has been very impressive so far in the tournament. Chouly is expected to be joined in the back row with captain Theirry Dusautoir, and the impressive Louis Picamoles.
Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE