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O2 MatchDay Live: France v Ireland

O2 MatchDay Live: France v Ireland

Boosted by their five-try triumph over Italy, Ireland head to Paris to face France hoping to keep their RBS 6 Nations title hopes alive. You can keep up-to-date with today’s match via our O2 MatchDay Live service right here on IrishRugby.ie.

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Ireland will field an unchanged team for this rescheduled encounter with France, which was originally postponed on Saturday, February 11 due to an unplayable pitch.

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Cian Healy, Gordon D’Arcy, Rob Kearney and Sean O’Brien have all been named in the starting line-up having recovered from the various minor injuries picked up in the 42-10 victory over Italy.

Ronan O’Gara, who last weekend became Ireland’s most-capped player with 118 appearances, is named in the replacements.

Ireland captain Paul O’Connell will win his 85th cap as he leads the team out, hoping to guide them to their first away win over the French since 2000.

Meanwhile, France head coach Philippe Saint-André has made two changes to the team the beat Scotland last time out, with Clément Poitrenaud and Julien Bonnaire pencilled in to start against Ireland.

With Maxime Médard ruled out with a knee injury, his Toulouse team-mate Poitrenaud will start in his place at full-back for les Bleus.

The other change in personnel from the 23-17 victory over the Scots sees Bonnaire return to the back row with Louise Picamoles dropping to the replacements bench.

Les Bleus 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 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.

Games between France and Ireland at the Stade de France have in recent times been high-scoring clashes, and dominated overwhelmingly by the home side.

Ireland have conceded an average of 36 points in their last five Championship games in Paris. In response they have scored an average of 17 points in those five games, finishing second best on each occasion.

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.

France field a side with 660 caps while Ireland have marginally less experience collectively, with 610 caps. However the average age of France’s starting line-up is two years higher at 29, while Ireland’s is 27.

Declan Kidney saw his winning ratio drop under 60% for the first time after the loss against Wales. The big win against Italy brought his winning average back to 60%. Kidney’s Ireland side have averaged over two tries a match.

We will have live text commentary direct from the Stade de France as the 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 today’s match live on IrishRugby.ie. There will be full live text and score updates throughout the coverage, with the game kicking off at 4pm Irish time/3pm French time.

You can watch live TV coverage of the match on RTÉ Two and BBC Two. There will be highlights later 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 2.30pm 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:

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