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Healy dreaming of France win

Cian Healy insists Ireland are determined to mark their return to Aviva Stadium by clinching a rare victory over France.

Trips to Edinburgh and Bordeaux so far this month have ended in defeat, but expectations have risen for the visits of France and England to Dublin. Victory in either or both Tests would see the team build some momentum for the World Cup, though the result is balanced by the fact many players are lacking match fitness.

"I wouldn't call it pressure to perform in these games," said Healy. "But you want to play well at home and give that dream performance in front of everyone."

He added: "I'm looking forward to playing France. I always like another crack at's never finished. We've got another chance to turn them over. It would be nice to do that.

"It's not even to get one back on them, but just to win and enjoy that feeling."

Balancing the benefits of a confidence-boosting victory over strong opposition is the pressing need for key players Brian O'Driscoll, Gordon D'Arcy and Stephen Ferris to be restored to match fitness after injury lay-offs.

Lock Paul O'Connell and number eight Jamie Heaslip will be making their first starts of the summer, while openside David Wallace enjoys a series debut.

The front row of Mike Ross, Rory Best and Healy will deployed en bloc for a second successive week with the latter grateful for another pipe opener.

"Bordeaux was my first blow out of the season. My body was struggling a bit and I was trying to keep up," said Healy. "Some bits of my game I was happy with and some bits need to be fixed up.

"Hopefully those things will be ironed out for Saturday."


From Belfast Telegraph