| 13.4°C Belfast

France can flatten wall of green: Iturria

Close

Arthur Iturria, centre, hopes France fare better against Ireland than last season (David Davies/PA)

Arthur Iturria, centre, hopes France fare better against Ireland than last season (David Davies/PA)

Arthur Iturria, centre, hopes France fare better against Ireland than last season (David Davies/PA)

Flanker Arthur Iturria hopes France can avoid hitting Ireland's "wall of green" for the second year running in Sunday's Guinness Six Nations encounter.

The Clermont back-rower still cannot quite fathom how Ireland shut down Les Bleus in last season's fraught 15-13 victory that was snatched with Johnny Sexton's last-gasp monster drop-goal.

Lions fly-half Sexton's long-range drop-goal stole Ireland a victory on the 41st phase and three minutes into overtime.

That dramatic win kick-started Ireland's Grand Slam charge and Sexton's march to the 2018 World Player of the Year award - but now Iturria hopes a resurgent France can turn the tide in Dublin this weekend.

"I remember when I got back to the changing room, I wondered what I had done on the pitch because I felt totally powerless," said Iturria.

"That day we ran into a wall of green. It was an immense experience for me because I had never played at that level.

"Last year, Ireland were on top of the world. Admittedly, this year, the Irish have lost against the English, but they are still a formidable team, second in the world rankings and have twice beaten the All Blacks.

"The Irish do very simple things, but they do them very well. That's what is impressive."

Jacques Brunel's France conjured a 27-10 victory over Scotland in their last outing to ease the horrors of their 24-19 collapse to Wales and the 44-8 thrashing by England.

Iturria added: "The idea is to try to repeat our game against Scotland, without the small mistakes, especially as Ireland is a team that knows how to hold the ball when it has it."

Rugby Round Up Newsletter

Exclusives and expert analysis from the sports team straight to your inbox

This field is required


Top Videos



Privacy