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Ireland wait on pitch inspection

Ireland's RBS 6 Nations clash with France on Saturday night will undergo a pitch inspection 90 minutes before kick-off.

Referee Dave Pearson gave the surface the all-clear on Friday afternoon but will conduct a further examination with temperatures forecast to drop to minus seven.

The Stade de France pitch, which lacks under-soil heating, has been maintained at three degrees under covers, which are due to be removed around 6.15pm (GMT) ahead of the 8pm kick-off.

It is feared the temperature could drop as low as minus 10, but a Six Nations spokesman has stated that the match is not under threat at this stage.

France winger Vincent Clerc declared earlier in the week there is "reason for concern" over the pitch, claiming sections near the touchline were frozen during last Saturday's victory over Italy.

If as expected the game goes ahead, Ireland will be hoping to register only their second victory in Paris in 40 years, thrusting themselves back into the Six Nations title frame in the process.

They have failed to beat France in four meetings since their Grand Slam-winning year of 2009, which was also the only time they have won in the past 12 encounters.


From Belfast Telegraph