Speaking as I was of victories over New Zealand, today’s starting line-ups have France with fourteen of their side that beat the All Blacks, while Ireland have twelve.
For France, last week’s starting centre Jonathan Danty has been ruled out and so Yoram Moefana, who impressed off the bench versus Italy comes into the 12 shirt. Up front, back row François Cros starts in place of Dylan Cretin who drops to the bench.
Andy Farrell has lost his captain, Johnny Sexton, and is forced to start Joey Carbery and bring Jack Carty onto the bench where he is joined by the fit again Robbie Henshaw. In the absence of Sexton, captaincy novice James Ryan will take the role in perhaps the most high-profile situation imaginable. Not ideal.
France: Melvyn Jaminet; Damian Penaud, Gael Fickou, Yoram Moefana, Gabin Villière; Romain Ntamack, Antoine Dupont (captain); Cyril Baille, Julien Marchand, Uini Atonio, Cameron Woki, Paul Willemse, François Cros, Anthony Jelonch, Gregory Alldritt.
Replacements: Peato Mauvaka, Jean-Baptiste Gros, Demba Bamba, Romain Taofifénua, Thibaud Flament, Dylan Cretin, Maxime Lucu, Thomas Ramos.
Ireland: Hugo Keenan; Andrew Conway, Garry Ringrose, Bundee Aki, Mack Hansen; Joey Carbery, Jamison Gibson-Park; Andrew Porter, Ronan Kelleher, Tadhg Furlong, Tadhg Beirne, James Ryan (captain) Caelan Doris, Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan.
Replacements: Dan Sheehan, Cian Healy, Finlay Bealham, Iain Henderson, Peter O’Mahony, Conor Murray, Jack Carty, Robbie Henshaw.
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