Six Nations preview: Ireland v France in Dublin

Last Updated: 09/03/13 4:39pm

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Ireland and France meet in Dublin on Saturday with both sides needing a win to ease their fears of finishing bottom of the RBS Six Nations.

France prop up the table after three straight defeats, while Ireland's tournament-opening victory over Wales in Cardiff seems a distant memory after losses to England and Scotland.

Ireland have retained Paddy Jackson at fly-half despite his debut struggles in the 12-8 defeat to Scotland in a side showing three changes to the starting XV on duty at Murrayfield.

Prop Cian Healy, lock Mike McCarthy and wing Fergus McFadden all get their chance as Ireland look to rediscover the form they showed against Wales.

"The problems have been more about our accuracy," said Ireland skipper Jamie Heaslip.

"Against Wales we were on the money in terms of delivering at key moments and that's what we need this weekend. Though it's a massive challenge."


France have recalled Frederic Michalak in place of Francois Trinh-Duc in one of three alterations to their starting XV.

Florian Fritz is preferred to Mathieu Bastareaud at centre, while Maxime Medard is named on the wing for the first time since tearing cruciate knee ligaments in last year's tournament.

"You've got to make your own luck," said France coach Philippe Saint-Andre.

"We didn't face up to the situation in the first three matches. We've got to score when we're playing well, concede fewer points when we're not (and) be better defensively. We've got to learn to win again."

France, who have not finished bottom of the table since 1957, have won four of their last five Tests in Dublin.

Ireland: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Fergus McFadden, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Luke Marshall, 11 Keith Earls, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Conor Murray; 8 Jamie Heaslip (capt), 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Peter O'Mahony, 5 Donnacha Ryan, 4 Mike McCarthy, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Rory Best, 1 Cian Healy

Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 David Kilcoyne, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Donncha O'Callaghan, 20 Iain Henderson, 21 Eoin Reddan, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Luke Fitzgerald

France: 15 Yoann Huget, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Maxime Medard, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Morgan Parra; 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Thierry Dusautoir (capt), 6 Yannick Nyanga, 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Christophe Samson, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Thomas Domingo

Replacements: 16 Guilhem Guirado, 17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Luc Ducalcon, 19 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 20 Antonie Claassen, 21 Maxime Machenaud, 22 Francois Trinh-Duc, 23 Mathieu Bastareaud

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