The top two nations of the World Rugby Rankings will face each other this Saturday in Dublin to keep their grand slam hopes alive after a very intriguing first round. With Fabien Galthie's side narrowly beating the Italians and the Irish team starting their Six Nations Championship in the best way possible with an impressive wins over Wales last week, this fixture is set to be one of the best game of the championship. Here is how to watch Ireland v France.
When is Ireland v France?
The game will start at 2.15pm Irish time on Saturday the 11th of February at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
How to watch Ireland v France?
Ireland v France will be on RTE 2, with coverage starting from 1.15pm.
France will come to the Emerald Isle with an impressive run of 14 games unbeaten. After winning the grand slam in the 2022 Six Nations and beating teams such as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in Test matches, everyone expected France to get an easy win against Italy in this opening round of the 2023 Six Nations Championship.
However their performance against Kieran Crowley's side was disappointing. By conceding 18 penalties, their lack of discipline was nearly proven costly has they won by only 5 points with the final score being 29-24 against a courageous and surprising Italian side. The French captain, Antoine Dupont stated that they need to "increase their levels in all sectors" in order to be up for the challenge against Andy Farrell's squad.
On the other hand, the Irish team has comforted their status as favourites for the 2023 Six Nations with an easy 34-10 bonus point win over Wales last week. With 12 wins in a row on home soil, Johnny Sexton and his teammates will hope to continue that excellent run in their Aviva fortress.
The Irish players will have an extra source of energy that the French team won't have: the support of the fans that will be cheering and singing for them. With the fans behind them thanks to home advantage, the men of Andy Farrell will more than ever want to win this crucial tie that could decide the outcome of the 2023 Six Nations. In, what is Sexton's last year wearing the green jersey, he will only want to end his international career in the best manner ever: a Six Nations and a World Cup trophy in his hands.
The Irish team will try and maintain their first place in the World Rugby Rankings by starting with nearly the same squad that played against Wales with only one change. Dan Sheehan will be a big loss for Ireland as he is unavailable due to an hamstring injury. It will be Rob Herring replacing him. Ronan Kelleher is therefore called up to the bench as the substitution hooker.
15. Hugo Keenan 14. Mack Hansen 13. Garry Ringrose 12. Stuart McCloskey 11. James Lowe 10. Johnny Sexton (captain) 9. Conor Murray; 1. Andrew Porter 2. Rob Herring 3. Finlay Bealham 4. Tadhg Beirne 5. James Ryan 6. Peter O’Mahony 7. Josh van der Flier 8. Caelan Doris
Introducing your Ireland line up for Saturday! ✊#TeamOfUs | #GuinnessSixNations
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) February 9, 2023
The starting 15 for the French team remains unchanged with Dupont leading as captain. The only changes made by Galthie is Nolann Le Garrec and Thomas Lavault being replaced by Baptiste Couilloud and Francois Cross on the bench. There was doubts over the injury of Cross but he recovered in time for the French team as he is fit to play in this decisive game against Ireland, which according to the French media is the best team in the world. The keyword for Fabien Galthie’s vision is clear: continuity. Just like the Irish coach, he will rely on the same starting players as much as he can during this 2023 Six Nations with big names like Dupont, Ntamack, Alldritt. It is a very strong team that will arrive in Ireland to try and keep their winning streak alive.
15. Thomas Ramos 14. Damien Penaud 13. Gael Fickou 12. Yoram Moefana 11. Ethan Dumortier 10. Romain Ntamack 9. Antoine Dupont (captain); 1. Cyril Baille 2. Julien Marchand 3. Uini Antonio 4. Thibaud Flament 5. Paul Willemse 6. Anthony Jelonch 7. Charles Ollivon 8. Gregory Alldritt
☘️🆚🇫🇷 Notre deuxième match du #SixNations 2023 nous amène à Dublin pour y défier 𝒍𝒂 𝒎𝒆𝒊𝒍𝒍𝒆𝒖𝒓𝒆 𝒆́𝒒𝒖𝒊𝒑𝒆 𝒅𝒖 𝒎𝒐𝒏𝒅𝒆 !
💪 Rendez-vous samedi ! #NeFaisonsXV #XVdeFrance #IRLFRA pic.twitter.com/eAfWyYyg3I
— France Rugby (@FranceRugby) February 9, 2023
SEE ALSO: Sheehan Out As Ireland Team Named For Blockbuster France Clash