France v Ireland: Live scores, updates and result from Cardiff in the Rugby World Cup
Ireland face France in the Rugby World Cup Pool D decider at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Follow our live updates.
While both teams have reached the quarter-finals next weekend, both will be going all out for the win.
Win and the Pumas of Argentina lie in wait for the victors.
Lose and its the rampant All-Blacks.
It's a big game for
Devin Toner. Iain Henderson who has lit up the tournament for Ireland was controversial dropped for Toner's greater presence in the line-out.
Joe Schmidt's team selection raised some eye brows but he knows French rugby having coached in Clermont and having never lost to Les Blues with two wins and two draws.
Johnny Sexton: France have vowed to hunt Sexton down with much mention made of propelling Mathieu Bastareaud down his channel again to send the Irish out-half into orbit. Les Bleus know that the former Racing Metro player holds the key for Ireland though the temptation will also surely be to send Bastareaud going full pelt at the rather slight figure of Keith Earls as well.
Johnny Sexton v Frederic Michalak
What a mouth-watering match-up here, Sexton’s accuracy and all-round play against Michalak’s seemingly off-the-cuff creativity. Sexton, if not pummelled by Bastareaud, should hold most of the aces.
Keith Earls v Mathieu Basteraud
With no Jared Payne it falls to Earls to front up to the wrecking ball Bastareaud. Stopping him will be quite a challenge though the Munsterman’s footwork and speed gives him some advantage in attack.
Jamie Healslip v Louis Picamoles
The French will have noticed how Italy managed to keep Heaslip and Sean O’Brien relatively quiet but this is a clash well worth the entry fee as both bring key components of physicality and skill to their teams’ games.
Weird /best stat…
In the two World Cup clashes these teams have had this century, France has won both of them by 22 points, 43 – 21 in Melbourne (2003) and 25-3 in Paris (2007). The other match, in 1995, was also won by France 36-12
The name “O’Driscoll” first entered our consciousness? In 2001, a very young Brian O’Driscoll arrived to the world. With a 27 year drought of victories in France, a hat trick from O’Driscoll helped rain on the French parade and set about the golden era of Irish rugby.
IRELAND: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Keith Earls, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Dave Kearney, Johnny Sexton, 9 Conor Murray. 1 Cian Healy, 2 Rory Best, 3 Mike Ross, 4, Devin Toner, 5 Paul O’Connell (capt), 6 Peter O’Mahony, 7 Sean O’Brien, 8 Jamie Heaslip
Replacements: Richardt Strauss, Jack McGrath, Nathan White, Iain Henderson, Chris Henry, Eoin Reddan, Ian Madigan, Luke Fitzgerald
FRANCE: 15 Scott Spedding, 14 Noa Nakaitaci, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Brice Dulin, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Sebastien Tillous-Borde. 1 Eddy Ben Arous, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 3 Rabah Slimani, 4 Pascal Pape, 5 Yoann Maestri, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (capt), 7 Damien Chouly, 8 Louis Picamoles
Replacements: Benjamin Kayser, Vincent Debaty, Nicolas Mas, Alexandre Flanquart, Bernard Le Roux, Morgan Parra, Remi Tales, Alexandre Dumoulin
Referee: Nigel Owens
TV: Live on UTV
Belfast Telegraph Digital