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In Pics: France 43 Ireland 31 (1)

In Pics: France 43 Ireland 31 (1)

Click here for photos from Ireland’s RBS 6 Nations defeat by France in Paris on Saturday.

Pictured above: Irish supporters, with some questionable dress sense, pose outside the Stade de France before kick-off.

The jovial mood pre-1.30pm turns sour, as exhibited by the above supporter, as Ireland begin to leak tries in the first half.

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Brian O’Driscoll charges through the French cover as Ireland go on the rampage in the final quarter in Paris. O’Driscoll was replaced late on in the defeat, limping off with an injury, but he will be fit for Sunday week’s Lansdowne Road coach with Wales.

Ireland coach Eddie O’Sullivan confirmed: “Brian will be fit for the Wales clash. He had a tight hamstring and was exhausted so we took the precaution of taking him off before the end of the match.” It was only O’Driscoll’s second Test match since he dislocated his right shoulder in the first Lions Test against New Zealand last June.

The Irish medics attend to Brian O’Driscoll towards the end of Saturday’s 43-31 loss.

Ireland full-back Geordan Murphy files off the pitch after the final whistle. The Kildare man, whose 35th-minute pass was intercepted by Cedric Heymans for France’s fourth try, said afterwards: “When I threw that pass I was praying for the ground to open up and swallow me. We came in at half-time and Eddie (O’Sullivan) was very calm – he said: “We’ve had one block down, one intercept and one fumble.”. He focused on the fact that we hadn’t done a lot wrong but had to stop giving gifts.

“They (France) came out and scored the first try (in the second half) but still the heads didn’t drop. It just started to click for us. There were a lot of Irish guys dead on their feet (at the end) but they (France) were even more so. We kept coming at them. If we had cut out one or two errors, we could have beaten them.”

Paul O’Connell and Gordon D’Arcy walk off the pitch after the final whistle. Munster lock O’Connell is a doubt for Sunday week’s meeting of Ireland and Wales at Lansdowne Road, having suffered an acromio-clavicular (CV) joint strain in the defeat by France.

The injury will require rehabilitation over the next week, and a further assessment will be made then.

**All photos by Andrew Paton and Billy Stickland of Inpho Photography**

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