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Ireland v France: Facts & Figures

Ireland v France: Facts & Figures

Ireland’s RBS 6 Nations campaign rolls on to France this week, with the Under-20s playing in Narbonne on Friday night, Joe Schmidt’s men at the Stade de France on Saturday afternoon and the girls in green wrapping up Valentine’s weekend in Perpignan on Saturday night. All three matches are live on RTE Two Television.

UNDER-20 RBS 6 NATIONS: Friday, February 12

FRANCE UNDER-20s (1st) v IRELAND UNDER-20s (4th), Stade d’Honneur du Parc des Sports et de l’Amitié, Narbonne, 9.05pm local time/8.05pm Irish time (live RTÉ Two/www.rte.ie/live (island of Ireland only))

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– The France Under-20s top the table after round 1 with their convincing 40-3 victory over Italy at Nevers

– France have lost just one of their last four encounters in the U-20 Six Nations, to England at Brighton in round 5 last year

– France have not lost at home in the U-20 Six Nations since Wales visited Clermont-Ferrand in 2013

– The Ireland Under-20s have lost their last four matches in the Six Nations since beating France in Athlone in round 2 last year (this represents their worst run in the tournament)

– Ireland have won just one away game in the competition since 2012: 47-15 in Italy in round 1 last year

– The two sides have met on 12 previous occasions in all competitions with France having the edge by seven wins to five, while in the Six Nations it is an even four wins apiece

– The only time that Ireland have beaten France U-20s in France was by a single point in 25 at Grenoble in 2012

– This is the first time that France have taken an Under-20 game to the city of Narbonne

U-20 RBS 6 Nations Fixtures/Results

U-20 RBS 6 Nations Table

FRANCE U-20: Romain Buros (Section Paloise, Pôle Bayonne); Gabriel N’Gandebe (RC Massy Essonne), Damien Penaud (ASM Clermont Auvergne), Alexandre Arrate (Biarritz Olympique, Pôle Bayonne), Eliott Roudil (Stade Rochelais); Anthony Belleau (RC Toulon, Pôle Talence), Christoper Kaiser (RC Narbonne Méditerranée); Clément Castets (Montpellier HR, Pôle Béziers) (capt), Peato Mauvaka (Stade Toulousain), Michaël Simutoga (ASM Clermont Auvergne, Pôle Ussel), Florian Verhaegue (Stade Toulousain, Pôle Toulouse), Mathieu Tanguy (Stade Rochelais, Pôle Tours), Matthieu Voisin (Racing 92, Pôle Lakanal), Judicaël Cancoriet (ASM Clermont Auvergne, Pôle Lakanal), Anthony Jelonch (Castres Olympique).

Replacements: Elias El Ansari (RC Massy Essonne, Pôle Lakanal), Pierre Bourgarit (FC Auch G), Emerick Setiano (RC Toulon, Pôle Tours), Théo Hannoyer (Castres Olympique, Pôle Dijon), Jean Baptiste Grenod (RC Toulon, Pôle Hyères), Baptiste Couilloud (Lyon OU), Atila Septar (CA Brive, Pôle Ussel), Alexandre Pilati (Union Bordeaux-Bègles, Pôle Talence).

IRELAND U-20: Hugo Keenan (UCD/Leinster); Matthew Byrne (Terenure College/Leinster), Shane Daly (Cork Constitution/Munster), Jimmy O’Brien (UCD/Leinster), Conor O’Brien (Clontarf/Leinster); Johnny McPhillips (Queen’s University/Ulster), John Poland (Cork Constitution/Munster); Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster), Adam McBurney (Ballymena/Ulster), Conor Kenny (Buccaneers/Connacht), Peter Claffey (Galwegians/Connacht), James Ryan (Lansdowne/Leinster) (capt), Cillian Gallagher (Sligo/Connacht), Dan Walsh (Cork Constitution/Munster), Max Deegan (Lansdowne/Leinster).

Replacements: Shane Fenton (Young Munster/Munster), James Bollard (Dublin University/Leinster), Conan O’Donnell (Sligo/Connacht), Sean O’Connor (Cashel/Munster), Kelvin Brown (Shannon/Munster), Stephen Kerins (Sligo/Connacht), Brett Connon (Newcastle Falcons/Exiles), Terry Kennedy (St. Mary’s College/Leinster).

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys (England)

WOMEN’S RBS 6 NATIONS: Saturday, February 13

FRANCE WOMEN (1st) v IRELAND WOMEN (3rd), Stade Aimé Giral, Perpignan, 9pm local time/8pm Irish time (live France 4/RTÉ Two/www.rte.ie/live (island of Ireland only))

– The France Women beat Italy 39-0 last weekend to top the table after the first round, avenging their defeat to the Italians in round 5 last season (their only loss in the tournament since 2013)

– The Ireland Women also began with a round 1 victory, over Wales, and have now won their last four matches in the Women’s Six Nations since tripping up at home to France in round 2 last year

– The two sides have met on 23 previous occasions with Ireland’s only two victories both being at home at Ashbourne in the Six Nations in 2009 and 2013

– Only one Women’s Test match has ever been played in Perpignan, with France beating Spain there 24-0 in the Six Nations in February 2004

Women’s RBS 6 Nations Fixtures/Results

Women’s RBS 6 Nations Table

FRANCE WOMEN: Julie Billes (Montpellier); Caroline Boujard (Montpellier), Lucile Godiveau (Bobigny), Elodie Poublan (Montpellier), Laura Delas (Tarbes); Audrey Abadie (Blagnac-Saint Orens), Yanna Rivoalen (Lille-Métropole RC Villeneuvois); Lise Arricastre (Lons), Gaëlle Mignot (Montpellier) (capt), Julie Duval (Ovalie Caennaise), Celine Ferer (Bayonne), Audrey Forlani (Blagnac-Saint Orens), Laëtitia Grand (Lons), Pauline Rayssac (Montpellier), Safi N’Diaye (Montpellier).

Replacements: Agathe Sochat (Stade Bordelais ASPTT), Arkya Ait Lahbib (Stade Rennais Rugby), Romane Menager (Lille-Métropole RC Villeneuvois), Julie Annery (Bobigny), Laure Sansus (Stade Toulousain), Camille Imart (Stade Toulousain), Coralie Bertrand (Stade Toulousain), Patricia Carricaburu (Lons).

IRELAND WOMEN: Niamh Briggs (UL Bohemians/Munster) (capt); Elise O’Byrne White (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Aine Donnelly (Cill Dara/Leinster), Sene Naoupu (Galwegians/Connacht), Mairead Coyne (Galwegians/Connacht); Nikki Caughey (Railway Union/Ulster), Larissa Muldoon (Skewen); Ruth O’Reilly (Galwegians/Connacht), Cliodhna Moloney (Railway Union/Leinster), Ailis Egan (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Sophie Spence (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Marie Louise Reilly (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Paula Fitzpatrick (Toulouse), Claire Molloy (Bristol), Heather O’Brien (Toulouse).
Replacements: Zoe Grattage (Tralee/Munster), Lindsay Peat (Railway Union/Leinster), Fiona Reidy (UL Bohemians/Munster), Ciara Cooney (Railway Union/Leinster), Ciara Griffin (Tralee/Munster), Mary Healy (Galwegians/Connacht), Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Jackie Shiels (Richmond).

Referee: Jess Beard (New Zealand)

RBS 6 NATIONS CHAMPIONSHIP: Saturday, February 13

FRANCE (2nd) v IRELAND (3rd), Stade de France, 3.25pm local time/2.25pm Irish time (live RTÉ Two/BBC One/RTÉ Radio 1/IRFU Live Blog)


– France began the Guy Noves era with a 23-21 victory over Italy last Saturday and have now won their last three encounters played at the Stade de France, but have not won four Tests in a row at the venue since 2010

– France’s last eight Test matches at the Stade de France have all been close with a winning margin of seven points or less (five coming down on the side of the home team and three in favour of the visitors)

– Ireland drew their round 1 fixture against Wales (the first time since 1979 that they have begun a Championship campaign with a tie)

– Ireland’s only defeat in their last eight RBS 6 Nations matches came on a trip to Cardiff in round 4 last season

– Ireland beat France 24-9 in Cardiff during the 2015 Rugby World Cup, while France have not beaten the men in green in their last five encounters since a World Cup warm-up game in Dublin in 2011

– Ireland won 22-20 on their most recent visit to Paris two years ago and have not beaten their hosts in Paris in successive games since the 1920s


– CJ Stander had a storming Test debut against Wales, his man-of-the-match performance seeing him make 23 ball carries (the second best by an Irishman in any RBS 6 Nations match)

– France winger Virimi Vakatawa was another to receive a man-of-the-match award on his Test debut, scoring a try after only 13 minutes, beating five defenders and making two clean breaks from 11 carries

– Jack McGrath was the hardest working prop after round 1, making 18 tackles and carrying the ball 11 times

RBS 6 Nations Fixtures/Results

RBS 6 Nations Table

FRANCE: Maxime Médard (Toulouse); Teddy Thomas (Racing 92), Maxime Mermoz (Toulon), Jonathan Danty (Stade Français), Virimi Vakatawa (FFR); Jules Plisson (Stade Français), Sébastien Bézy (Toulouse); Jefferson Poirot (Bordeaux-Bègles), Guilhem Guirado (Toulon) (capt), Uini Atonio (La Rochelle), Alexandre Flanquart (Stade Français), Yoann Maestri (Toulouse), Wenceslas Lauret (Racing 92), Yacouba Camara (Toulouse), Damien Chouly (Clermont Auvergne).

Replacements: Camille Chat (Racing 92), Rabah Slimani (Stade Français), Eddy Ben Arous (Racing 92), Paul Jedrasiak (Clermont Auvergne), Loann Goujon (Bordeaux-Bègles), Maxime Machenaud (Racing 92), Jean-Marc Doussain (Toulouse), Hugo Bonneval (Stade Français).

IRELAND: Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster); Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster), Jared Payne (Ulster), Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Connacht), Dave Kearney (Lansdowne/Leinster); Jonathan Sexton (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster); Jack McGrath (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) (capt), Nathan White (Connacht), Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster), Mike McCarthy (Lansdowne/Leinster), CJ Stander (Munster), Sean O’Brien (UCD/Leinster), Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster).

Replacements: Richardt Strauss (Old Wesley/Leinster), James Cronin (Dolphin/Munster), Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster), Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster), Tommy O’Donnell (UL Bohemians/Munster), Eoin Reddan (Old Crescent/Leinster), Ian Madigan (Blackrock College/Leinster), Fergus McFadden (Old Belvedere/Leinster).

Referee: Jaco Peyer (South Africa)
Assistant Referees: Nigel Owens (Wales), Stuart Berry (South Africa)
Television Match Official: George Ayoub (Australia)

– Compiled by SFMS Limited (Stuart Farmer Media Services)