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Ireland have French test

Ireland will look to use a spectacular back division against France at Dubarry Park tonight (KO 7.05' Live RTE 2).

It all starts with returning half-backs Nick McCarthy and Ross Byrne.

There are two alterations to the three-quarter line as Stephen Fitzgerald wins his first cap and centre Sam Arnold makes his first start.

The way Ireland trottled Italy 47-15 in unkind conditions hints at the kind of firepower coach Nigel Carolan has at his disposal.

But, the main area of unexpected domination was up front.

They will have to be efficient against the French, who were super-impressive in trouncing Scotland 47-6 in Gueugnon.

Ireland: B Dardis; J Owens, G Ringrose, S Arnold, S Fitzgerald; R Byrne, N McCarthy (capt); J Loughman, Z McCall, O Heffernan, D O'Connor, A Thompson, J Murphy, R Moloney, L Dow.

Verdict: Ireland