2020 Six Nations Championship – France vs Ireland Preview & Prediction

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THE FACTS

When is France vs Ireland taking place? Saturday 31st October, 2020 – 20:10

Where is France vs Ireland taking place? Stade de France, Saint-Denis

Where can I get tickets for France vs Ireland? This match will be played without spectators

What channel is France vs Ireland on? BBC 1

Where can I stream France vs Ireland? France vs Ireland can be streamed via BBC iPlayer

THE TEAM NEWS

FRANCE

  • France were emphatic in their 38-21 warm-up match against Wales at the Stade de France last Saturday and will take that momentum into this likely title-deciding final Six Nations fixture.
  • France had all the momentum early on in the 2020 Six Nations championship with brilliant performances against Wales and England but a loss to Scotland in their last match before the postponement has left this final round of fixtures out of their hands with England facing Italy.
  • The French have conceded the second-most points in the Six Nations behind lowly Italy but Les Bleus have also scored the second-most points and this gung-ho record could suit them in this must win fixture.

Starting line-up: 15 Anthony Bouthier, 14 Vincent Rattez, 13 Virimi Vakatawa, 12 Arthur Vincent, 11 Gael Fickou, 10 Romain Ntamack, 9 Antoine Dupont, 8 Gregory Alldritt, 7 Charles Ollivon (c), 6 Francois Cros, 5 Paul Willemse, 4 Bernard Le Roux, 3 Mohamed Haouas, 2 Julien Marchand, 1 Cyril Baille

Replacements: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Jean-Baptiste Gros, 18 Demba Bamba, 19 Romain Taofifenua, 20 Dylan Cretin, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Arthur Retiere, 23 Thomas Ramos

IRELAND

  • Ireland did the job against Italy last Saturday with a commanding 50-17 scoreline and they are the only Six Nations team who do not need to rely on the fates to win the title.
  • Andy Farrell’s side will win the Six Nations if they secure a bonus point victory here against France, no matter what England manage to score against Italy in the match previous.
  • Robbie Henshaw came on in the first half of last week’s win against Italy for the injured Garry Ringrose and he will keep that place as Ireland’s only change.

Starting line-up: 15 Jacob Stockdale, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Hugo Keenan, 10 Jonathan Sexton (c), 9 Conor Murray 8 CJ Stander, 7 Will Connors, 6 Caelan Doris, 5 James Ryan, 4 Tadhg Beirne, 3 Andrew Porter, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Cian Healy

Replacements: 16 Dave Heffernan, 17 Ed Byrne, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 Ultan Dillane, 20 Peter O’Mahony, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Ross Byrne, 23 Chris Farrell

THE PREDICTION

With England’s bonus-point victory over Italy a very likely possibility, France know they will probably have to beat Ireland with four or more tries whilst also bettering the English points difference. They trail that by just two points as things stand but the difficulty of their task will be come apparent just before they take to the field against Ireland, making this Saturday a mouth-watering prospect for sports fans. In amongst all this, however, Ireland are top of the standings after their 50-17 victory over Italy last Saturday and they can be the team to lift the trophy simply by winning this match. An Irish bonus point would secure the title but may not be totally necessary as they are ahead of England by 23 points already.
With so much riding on this match from outside factors, the Irish will likely set-up to not concede whilst the French will be in all-out attack mode. It should be a truly spectacular day in Six Nations history. Ireland simply need to win, of which they are well capable, while France, who are not exactly defensively sound, need to achieve a cricket score. It should come down to the wire but the visiting Irish have conceded the second-fewest points so far in this tournament and they can grind out the victory.

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