Countdown To Six Nations Opener Against France

Countdown To Six Nations Opener Against France

Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, Connected TVs, online and BBC Sport app from 16:15 GMT; listen on BBC Radio 5 live; text commentary on BBC Sport website.

Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale and James Ryan make their Championship debuts tomorrow.

Keith also turned his attention to the Six Nations opener against France and he liked to see a couple of surprises in the Irish team and discussed the potential of James Ryan being a wildcard to be involved prominently at second row, with speculation that he is poised to start.

Geoffrey Palis; Teddy Thomas; Remi Lamerat; Henry Chavancy; Virimi Vakatawa; Matthieu Jalibert; Maxime Machenaud; Kevin Gourdon; Yacouba Camara; Wenceslas Lauret; Sebastien Vahaamahina; Arthur Iturria; Rabah Slimani; Guilhem Guirado (capt); Jefferson Poirot. Reserves: Adrien Pelissie, Dany Priso, Cedate Gomes Sa, Paul Gabrillagues, Marco Tauleigne, Antoine Dupont, Anthony Belleau, Benjamin Fall. The replacements are Sean Cronin, Jack McGrath, John Ryan, Devin Toner, Dan Leavy, Luke McGrath, Joey Carbery and Fergus McFadden.

Eddie Butler: "It will be interesting to see how the number 10s walk off the pitch". He includes 19 year old Matthieu Jalibert at fly-half, who has been in fine form in the Top 14 as reported by Last Word on Rugby back in November. He must survive and then manage the game, each a mighty challenge in its own right. The Murray-Sexton half-back axis is present, along with the tried and tested Healy-Best-Furlong front row.

Meanwhile here is Jacques Brunel's first selection as French Head Coach.

"The favourites tag isn't something that we've talked about or worry about".

More news: Boeing wins $6.56 billion US defense contract: Pentagon

Scotland‚ dark horses to go on and win the championships‚ beat Wales at Murrayfield past year and don't bet against them winning away from home this time. "That suits me very well".

So, I hope that young Jalibert does well this weekend, I really do.

"I think we've seen from the Under-20s that this is a young man with a very, very long future of worldwide rugby ahead of him". It's not the same referee this time. "When times get tough we have to get tighter as a group". With Jalibert's inclusion, the lads on The Hard Yards discussed what he will bring to this France side and, pertinently, how Ireland can stop him.

But this year, with the fixtures reversed, Ireland have three successive home games from Rounds Two-Four.

France are without a win in six games.

France last won the Six Nations in 2010.

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