Matthieu Jalibert set for France debut in Six Nations opener

France hooker Tolofua out of 6 Nations with neck injury

"France have been absolutely destroyed with the final kick of the game", Corcoran screams excitedly - listen below.

Ryan got through a mountain of work on his Six Nations debut, and was Ireland's top tackler (10). It must go down as one of the finest ever struck.

It's hard to say whether this young player will have the ability to compete against his counterpart in green, Johnny Sexton.

Sexton has been a victim of this fixture in the past. "This year we had a chance and we took it, thankfully". At least he did after he had managed to extract himself from the bottom of an impromptu pile-up of his team mates. He just seized the moment.

"That's credit to a man who was struggling a little with cramp and fatigue".

Their last win was at home to Wales in last year's tournament.

Questions will be asked after HIA protocols allowed France to replace fly-half Mathieu Jalibert and substitute halfback Antoine Dupont left the field in Paris on Saturday (Sunday NZ time) with what appeared to be knee injuries.

Scrum-half Machenaud assumed chief goal-kicking responsibilities from the start of the match, landing two penalties. Nigel Owens, the referee, said he had to abide by the decision made by the match doctor. Owens checked a few times.

"I think it's been ramped up since we were involved two years ago".

"I thought it was pretty disgraceful", said O'Driscoll.

At least it did not materially affect the outcome.

Belleau converted to put France ahead but missed another penalty. The rest is history.

Ireland had dominated, according to most of the statistics. As Kearney admitted, they got out of jail with Sexton's late act.

"Everyone is memorable in their own way butI think the standout game would have been in 2015 on Super Saturday when Wales beat Italy by a huge score and they were the Six Nations champions at that time".

He had no cause for complaint this time.

How would the French respond? They have an opportunity to stamp gamesmanship like this out of the game, once and for all.

"He plays a good game, he's very exciting and tries anything from anywhere, so we've got to watch him closely", said Stander, of 19-year-old Jalibert. Soon they earned a penalty which the ever-reliable Sexton converted.

For Sexton, this was truly iconic moment in his career.

And Brunel is sure that Jalibert, who says he wants to emulate England's Andy Farrell, will have no problem dealing the intensity the Irish will no doubt bring to the Stade de France cauldron.

France: Palis; Thomas, Lamerat, Chavancy, Vakatawa; Jalibert, Machenaud; Poirot, Guirado (capt), Slimani, Iturria, Vahaamahina, Lauret, Gourdon.

Josh van der Flier is a major doubt for the Dublin encounter, after he suffered knee ligament damage during the victory in Paris.

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