Brunel reveals France team for Ireland clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: France head coach Jacques Brunel has named his team to face Ireland in Dublin on Sunday.
France will enter the match with same matchday 23 that beat Scotland 27-10 in Paris in Round Three of Six Nations 2019.
That means the exciting young halfback pairing of Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamack that galvanised the French backline at the Stade de France remains, as does 23-year-old fullback Thomas Ramos – who will also take on kicking duties.
Cedate Gomes Sa and Sébastien Bézy had been called up to the wider squad in place of the injured Uini Atonio and Morgan Parra this week but neither has cracked the unchanged matchday group.
Guilhem Guirado skippers the side once more from hooker, with Jefferson Poirot and Demba Bamba either side of him in the front row as France look to improve a recent record that has seen them win just one of their last eight clashes with Ireland, home or away.
Félix Lambey and Sébastien Vahaamahina are the locks, while the in-form trio of Wenceslas Lauret, Arthur Iturria and Louis Picamoles will do battle with an impressive Irish back row.
Gaël Fickou and Mathieu Bastareaud renew their partnership in the centres, while Yoann Huget and Damian Penaud complete the back-three alongside Ramos.
— Fédération Française de Rugby (@FFRugby) March 5, 2019
France: 15 Thomas Ramos, 14 Damian Penaud, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Gaël Fickou, 11 Yoann Huget, 10 Romain Ntamack, 9 Antoine Dupont, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Arthur Iturria, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Sébastien Vahaamahina, 4 Félix Lambey, 3 Demba Bamba, 2 Guilhem Guirado, 1 Jefferson Poirot.
Replacements: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Etienne Falgoux, 18 Dorian Aldegheri, 19 Paul Willemse, 20 Gregory Alldritt, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Anthony Belleau, 23 Maxime Médard.
Date: Sunday, March 10
Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Kick-off: 15.00 (15.00 GMT; 16.00 France time)
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner (Australia), Karl Dickson (England)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)