France vs. Ireland: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview

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France vs. Ireland: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview
Peter Morrison/Associated Press

The final match of Six Nations action pits third-placed France against table toppers Ireland, with both teams able to clinch this year's title.

Philippe Saint-Andre's men can snatch top spot with victory over Ireland, should Stuart Lancaster's men succumb to a shock failure against Italy.

Meanwhile, Joe Schmidt's side can seal the title themselves by simply beating France, as their mammoth points difference gives them a 49-point advantage over second-placed England.

 

When: Saturday, March 15, at 5 p.m GMT/ 1 p.m. ET

Where: Stade de France, Paris, France

TV Info: Live on BBC One and BBC One HD

Live Stream: BBC iPlayer



Key Storylines

France Look To Make Home Advantage Count

Scott Heppell/Associated Press

Saint-Andre's men remain unbeaten at the Stade de France so far, after the opening day 26-24 win over England, followed by the 30-10 victory against Italy.

The France coach will be happy to see his side return to their home stadium, after a heavy defeat in Wales saw Les Bleus suffer their first loss of the campaign.

This was followed up by a gruelling match against Scotland—which took a late penalty from Jean-Marc Doussain to seal both points in a gripping 19-17 scoreline.

David Rogers/Getty Images

France and Ireland have fought to a draw in their last two head-to-heads. RBS Six Nations highlighted "The Inseparables":

Per RTE Sport, former Ireland international Bernard Jackman believes France are in for a shock as they face a well-drilled Ireland:

When France do their video analysis on Ireland, they will hate what they see, because Ireland have become exactly what they call ‘Anglo-Saxonised’. By this, the French mean ultra-organised and efficient. They think it is 'machine like', lacking in emotion and passion. They hate it because they find it very difficult to play against.

France are the direct opposite - chaotic, volatile and disorganised. There are rumours of anarchy and discontent in the squad with players complaining of disorganised training sessions and confusing team meetings.

Both sides have to chase the win, making for what should be an extremely aggressive encounter full of tension.

Jackman's belief that Ireland are more organised than their competitors is warranted. The French have been slow around the breakdown all tournament, and their usual slickness with ball in hand has escaped them.

Louis Picamoles has been recalled after being dropped by Saint-Andre for disrespecting referee Alain Rolland, per BBC Sport.

David Rogers/Getty Images

Damien Chouly and Alexandre Lapandry move to Nos. 7 and 8 eight respectively, as Sebastien Vahaamahina drops to the bench.

Gael Fickou, 19, replaces Maxime Mermoz, who also drops to the bench as Remi Tales replaces Jules Pilsson at fly-half, while Dimitri Szarzewski starts ahead of Brice Mach.

 

France Team To Face Ireland:

Dulin, Huget, Bastareaud, Fickou, Medard, Tales, Machenaud, Domingo, Szarzewski, Mas, Pape, Maestri, Picamoles, Lapandry, Chouly.

Replacements:

Guirado, Debaty, Slimani, Flanquart, Vahaamahina, Lauret, Doussain, Mermoz.

 

Peter O'Mahony Returns To Ireland Side

David Rogers/Getty Images

Fit-again Peter O'Mahony has returned to Ireland's starting XV as Iain Henderson drops to the bench, according to BBC Sport.

The flanker missed the side's 46-7 win over Italy after picking up a hamstring injury during the defeat by England, as Schmidt looked to not risk the Munster man.

O'Mahony's return signals the only change for Ireland from the starting side that overcame Jacques Brunel's side last time out.

Ian Walton/Getty Images

Henderson's place on the bench sees Rhys Ruddock out of the squad, while Ian Madigan comes onto the bench to replace Paddy Jackson as Schmidt eyes more versatility in his squad.

Speaking at a press conference, Schmidt spoke of Madigan's ability to fill a number of positions, with the Leinster man able to feature at full-back, centre and fly-half, should changes be needed in Paris:

Ian is a very good player and he does give us coverage through the midfield and at full-back. It's been a pretty combative campaign - we just started to creak a little bit, so we just needed the coverage. In England we got a couple of niggles, and we didn't have as broad a coverage on the bench as we would have liked.

It will be an emotional day—with or without a trophy—for the retiring Brian O'Driscoll, who will make his 141st and final Test appearance in Paris.

A memorable opportunity for O'Driscoll to extend the world record for Test appearances, per Independent's Nick Purewal, and an excellent opportunity to cap his own personal landmark with silverware.

 

Ireland Team To Face France:

R Kearney, Trimble, O'Driscoll, D'Arcy, D Kearney, Sexton, Murray, Healy, Best, Ross, Toner, O'Connell, O'Mahony, Henry, Heaslip.

Replacements:

Cronin, McGrath, Moore, Henderson, Murphy, Reddan, Madigan, McFadden.

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