Six Nations: France must step it up for Ireland clash, says Noves
New France head coach Guy Noves accepts his squad have plenty of hard work ahead of their Irish test after they produced a late comeback to see off Italy 23-21 in the opening match of the RBS Six Nations in Paris.
Heading into the last five minutes at Stade de France, the Italians led only for Jules Plisson's long-range penalty to deny Jacques Brunel's side a famous victory, with Italy captain Sergio Parisse also missing a drop-goal attempt in added time.
Noves, who took over from Philippe Saint-Andre after the World Cup, admitted his men had made it tough for themselves.
"Despite a very short training period ahead of the game, we managed to win and with a very refreshed team, so the boys showed a lot of enthusiasm," he said.
"However, we did not always play with a clear head and there were no rhythm changes.
"We did not play fast enough. I had the feeling that players aged between 20-29 were actually 35, so we will have to talk about this.
"It is good to take risks, but you have to be intelligent too, that is to find the balance between the will to play and managing the game."
France No.8 Louis Picamoles suffered a tear to his right thigh in the first-half, and will rule him out of the match with Ireland.