Апреля 24, 2018

French teen to debut in Six Nations rugby

06 Февраля 2018, 02:46 | Damon Campbell

Six Nations France 13-15 Ireland – Sexton “miracle kick” gives French just desserts

Result: Johnny Sexton seals late win for Ireland in Paris

Talking point: Ireland's 2018 Six Nations campaign is up and running with this opening-day victory.

Another uncapped player, fullback Geoffrey Palis, will also start as Brunel will look to restore France's confidence for his first game in charge.

What are the match odds?

France were accused of abusing the HIA system after snatching a late victory over Wales past year.

France meanwhile are on a seven-game losing streak, reflected in the home side's 5/2 odds.

It was an incredible finish but it should not completely gloss over what threatened to be a major controversy with France once again accused of manipulating the Head Injury Assessment protocols, just as they were in that infamous 100-minute match against Wales previous year when they brought Rabah Slimani back on for Uini Atonio despite the latter appearing to have no idea why he was going off.

A draw is priced at 25/1.

When asked what he thought of before kicking the winning goal, the fly-half said: "I went back to many years ago when we played Treviso away and I was in an nearly identical position and just flashed back to that".

Jacob Stockdale, Bundee Aki and James Ryan made their first Six Nations appearances for Ireland.

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He will make his worldwide debut at Stade de France only three months after starting his first Top 14 match with Bordeaux Beglés.

Ireland: Kearney; Earls, Henshaw, Aki, Stockdale; Sexton, Murray; Healy, Best (capt), Furlong; Henderson, James Ryan; O'Mahony, Van der Flier, Stander.

Replacements: 16-Sean Cronin, 17-Jack McGrath, 18-John Ryan, 19-Devin Toner, 20-Dan Leavy, 21-Luke McGrath, 22-Joey Carbery, 23-Fergus McFadden.

Replacements: Adrien Pelissie, Dany Priso, Cedate Gomes Sa, Paul Gabrillagues, Marco Tauleigne, Antoine Dupont, Anthony Belleau, Benjamin Fall.

The ball seems to take an age to reach the posts, but it flies between the uprights and Ireland have secured a famous victory.

After the match, France coach Jacques Brunel pointed out that they were not responsible for the decision to impose HIAs, saying: "There were collisions".

"We know we're not favourites but these two weeks we've built a spirit that will allow us to compete with this team".

England, of course, have been crowned champions in the past two years but if any side is going to deny them an unprecedented hat-trick of titles, it is likely to be Ireland.

"There are four teams, potentially France too, who could all beat each other, so it's wide open", the flanker, among several experienced Wales internationals ruled out today with injury, told the BBC.

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