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Wallace: Paris Win Offers Huge Incentive

Wallace: Paris Win Offers Huge Incentive

IrishRugby.ie caught up with flanker David Wallace at the team hotel to get his thoughts on next Saturday’s crunch clash with defending Six Nations champions France.

Wallace made his debut three months after Ireland’s famous Brian O’Driscoll-inspired victory over the French in Paris in 2000 – the men in green’s last triumph at Stade de France – although he did play in the win over les Bleus in Dublin a year later.

It riles the Irish players that they have not beaten France since 2003’s 15-12 success at Lansdowne Road and Wallace and company will be giving it everything they have got next weekend.

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“It’s obviously going be a huge occasion. We owe them a few now at this stage. We’re just looking to build on last weekend,” said the Munster forward.

“France had a good run-out against Scotland on Sunday but they still looked like they could go up another gear so they’re going to be very difficult opponents for us.”

Wallace watched France’s impressive 27-6 dismissal of the Scots and was suitably impressed.

Asked about the differences between Marc Lievremont’s current crop and the side that represented France in the World Cup, he said: “It’s very different – a lot of changes – but they still seem to be very potent and are scoring tries at will. It just shows what a dangerous team they are.”

Wallace played the full 80 minutes against Italy and linked up in the back row with Jamie Heaslip, a Six Nations newcomer, when he came on for the closing stages.

“I thought Jamie did well when he came on. It was his first time getting game-time in the Six Nations and he looked the part,” he said of the Leinster number 8.

“I always remember my first game in the tournament, it’s different to other caps when you’re touring – it’s a bigger stage again. I thought he did very well.”

Wallace readily accepts just how important a win in the French capital next Saturday would be for Ireland’s 2008 season, particularly after the defeats to France at Croke Park last year and at the recent World Cup.

“Winning in Paris, that’s a challenge in itself and that’s a carrot for us. To get a victory in France would be huge for us – it would really get our campaign going. I suppose that alone is a huge incentive.”

To listen to David Wallace’s interview in full, please click here.