Ireland hand youngster Ryan first Six Nations start

Ireland hand youngster Ryan first Six Nations start

Ireland hand youngster Ryan first Six Nations start

The 19-year-old Jalibert will make his worldwide debut on Saturday at the Stade de France, barely three months since starting his first Top 14 match with Bordeaux-Begles.

Having returned from injury in time for the last November series, the former Cooley Kickhams GAA player is set to earn his 79th cap and 75th start against the French.

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has included three NatWest 6 Nations debutants - Jacob Stockdale, Bundee Aki and James Ryan - in his team for Saturday's opening clash with France in Paris (kick-off 5.45pm local time/4.45pm Irish time).

Machenaud reduced the arrears five minutes before the interval with a penalty France won at the breakdown, only for Sexton to restore the six-point lead after a Sebastien Vahaamahina foul on Murray in the scrum.

Veteran Irish rugby commentator Michael Corcoran is well-known to New Zealand fans for his regular appearances on Radio Sport's The Devlin Show - but you may never have heard him as excited as in the final moments of Ireland's six nations match against France at the weekend.

"It's unusual to think I have never done a Calcutta Cup game before - when I do Ireland v France that will be my 80th Test match and the Calcutta Cup will be my 81st".

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

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France could have went 16-12 ahead but Anthony Belleau missed a 77th minute penalty kick of his own and Ireland had one life left.

Machenaud, who has a 94 percent kicking rate this season, will kick the conversions and penalties, said Brunel.

Although Brunel has picked his most experienced front row, with captain Guilhem Guirado at hooker next to props Jefferson Poirot and Rabah Slimani, lock Arthur Iturria will start his first game in only his second test for France.

The Owen Farrell lookalike, who was coached by Jalibert at Bordeaux-Begles before he took charge of Les Bleus, became the first teenager to start a Six Nations match at 10 for fifty years.

"We want to be able to keep building in that position".

Brunel said: "Given that we believed he could play at this level [by calling him up] there is no reason not to blood him".

"No one thinks we can win the Six Nations so we have got an opportunity to hunt the other teams down". So I'd hope that it's not. No matter how much you've prepared yourself, even if you've been here before, for any player to step out into that stadium and the noise generated, I wouldn't say it's a shock, but it's a hugely motivating factor.

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