After losing to Wales just six days ago, Ireland need to produce a big performance in order to beat France and keep their RBS 6 Nations title hopes alive. You can keep up-to-date with tonight’s match via our O2 MatchDay Live service right here on IrishRugby.ie.
Ireland will field a team showing just one change to the side that suffered a late defeat to Wales in last Sunday’s thrilling Six Nations opener.
Keith Earls returns to the side, wearing the number 13 jersey that Fergus McFadden donned against the Welsh. McFadden drops to the replacements bench, with David Kearney’s absence leaving Peter O’Mahony as the only uncapped player in the squad.
France, who started the Championship with a 30-12 win over Italy, have made five changes to their starting line-up. A back problem has ruled out Dimitri Yachvili, so Morgan Parra will start at scrum half.
The four other alterations are up front where Jean-Baptiste Poux and Dimitri Szarzewski will line out in the front row, Yoann Maestri makes his first start in the second row and imanol Harinordoquy has been pencilled in at openside flanker.
Les Bleus, now coached by Philippe Saint-André, have won nine consecutive games at the Stade de France, a run of wins stretching back to their 24-13 defeat at the hands of England in 2008.
Ireland have never started a Six Nations Championship with back-to-back defeats. They have won just once away to France since beating them 14-9 in Colombes in 1972 – Brian O’Driscoll scored a famous hat-trick of tries to see off the French 27-25 at the Stade de France in 2000.
Ronan O’Gara could add another record to his long list of achievements in the Ireland jersey. If he plays tonight, the out-half (117 caps) will become Ireland’s most-capped player overtaking O’Driscoll.
Declan Kidney’s men actually enjoy a better record on the road than they have had at home in recent years, winning six of their last eight away Championship matches while winning only five at home.
Ireland’s 30-21 defeat of France at Croke Park during their 2009 Grand Slam campaign was their most recent win in this series, and their first against the French since a 15-12 victory at Lansdowne Road in 2003.
We will have live text commentary direct from the Stade de France as the Paul O’Connell-captained team look to record Ireland’s 30th triumph in 90 Test meetings with France.
Plug in your laptop or turn on the PC and enjoy a flavour of tonight’s match live on IrishRugby.ie. There will be full live text and score updates throughout the coverage, with the game kicking off at 8pm Irish time/9pm French time.
You can watch live TV coverage of the match on RTÉ Two and BBC Two. There will be highlights at midnight on Setanta Sports Ireland.
Michael Corcoran will also be providing live commentary of the game on RTÉ Radio 1, with their coverage beginning shortly before kick-off.
Starting at 7.30pm with our pre-match build-up, you can feel part of the action on IrishRugby.ie with MatchDay Live.
Look out for the MatchDay Live button in the Ireland section or simply click on the link below: