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France v Ireland: history points to more disappointment for visitors

| 03.03.2012

Ireland head into Sunday’s rearranged Six Nations clash with France as the outsiders at 5/2 – and based on their record in Paris it’s easy to see why.

Ireland have only one win in Paris since 1972 and just two since 1952.

Combined with their more recent performances against France that have seen them win just one of their previous 12 meetings – a victory in Dublin on their way to the 2009 Grand Slam – it’s hard to look beyond a win for the French.

France are big favourites at 3/10 following their battling victory over Scotland last weekend but Ireland have shown enough in their opening two games to suggest they can push the French all the way.

They were narrowly defeated by Grand Slam-chasing Wales in their opening game and smashed their way past Italy last weekend to win 42-10.

Ireland boss Declan Kidney has named an unchanged side from the one that swept aside Italy, with Cian Healy, Gordon D’Arcy, Rob Kearney and Sean O’Brien all recovering from knocks to be named in the starting XV.

Meanwhile, France head coach Philippe Saint-Andre has made two changes for their Ireland clash, introducing flanker Julien Bonnaire and No.8 Clement Poitrenaud to the starting side.

France are rightful favourites but, with the biggest winning margin for France in the last three encounters between the sides being seven points, this promises to be a tight game – especially given the way Scotland were able to push France all the way last weekend.

France missed 14 tackles in that match so, backing a nervy victory for Les Bleus with a -8pt handicap at 10/11 is a bet well worth backing.



Richard Anderson