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france vs ireland preview 02/02/2024 sport preview

France vs Ireland – Six Nations Preview & Team News 02/02/2024

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France vs Ireland 02/02/2024:

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France vs Ireland – Six Nations Preview

Six Nations Showdown: France and Ireland Clash in High-Stakes Opener, Determining Destiny in a Battle for Redemption and Glory

France vs Ireland | Stade Velodrome, Marseille | Fri 02 Feb, 20:00 GMT

In a highly anticipated clash, France and Ireland, both considered favourites, will face off on the opening night of the Six Nations. The outcome of this match could significantly impact the Championship, and the prospect of a Grand Slam hangs in the balance within the first 80 minutes of rugby.

Andy Farrell and Fabien Galthié, will both be seeking redemption for their premature World Cup exits and will see this Six Nations encounter as an ideal opportunity to make amends. The choice of opponents couldn’t be more fitting for their ambitions.

The match, an anomaly, will take place at Marseille’s Stade Vélodrome, deviating from the usual venue, Paris’ Stade de France, which is undergoing renovations ahead of the summer Olympics.

France vs Ireland – Referee

England’s Karl Dickson.

France vs Ireland – Team news

Johnny Sexton and Antoine Dupont’s absence, due to retirement and Olympic commitments respectively, opens the door for new faces in the half-back positions.

Munster’s Jack Crowley is set to fill Sexton’s starting role, while Calvin Nash is expected to secure a spot on the right-wing for Ireland.

Injuries to Mack Hansen and Jimmy O’Brien create opportunities for Nash, Jordan Larmour, and Jacob Stockdale, but Nash is favoured for the 14 channel. There’s speculation about Leinster’s Joe McCarthy starting in the engine room, potentially pushing Tadhg Beirne into the back-row, with a reshuffle moving captain Peter O’Mahony to the openside and Josh van der Flier to the bench.

Projected Ireland lineup

H Keenan; C Nash, G Ringrose, B Aki, J Lowe; J Crowley, J Gibson-Park; A Porter, D Sheehan, T Furlong; T Beirne, J Ryan; P O’Mahony, J van der Flier, C Doris.

Likely Replacements: R Kelleher, J Loughman, F Bealham, J McCarthy, J Conan, C Murray, C Frawley, R Henshaw.

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