Monday 19 March 2018

10 must-know facts ahead of Ireland v France

Andrew Trimble, Ireland, goes over for his side's second try during last year's win in Paris
Andrew Trimble, Ireland, goes over for his side's second try during last year's win in Paris

Some interesting facts and figures for Ireland v France.

1) Ireland can secure their second-best winning sequence of all time with a ninth consecutive victory. The current eight-match winning run, stretching from 46-7 victory over Italy on March 8, 2014, is the third time Ireland have compiled eight wins on the spin

2) Conor Murray will move level with Mark Sugden on 28 to share third spot in Ireland's list of scrum-halves with the most Test starts.

3) Paul O'Connell will win his 20th cap as captain of Joe Schmidt's side, moving fourth on Ireland's list for the most appearances as skipper. O'Connell will also move ahead of Willie Crawford as Ireland's second-oldest captain of all time, at 35 years and 117 days when facing France.

4) France are gunning to avoid their fourth consecutive defeat on the road, in a losing sequence away from home dating back to their June 7, 2014 defeat to Australia in Brisbane.

5) France have won just once in their last 11 Test matches away from home, a 19-17 victory over Scotland at Murrayfield last March.

6) France's replacement prop Uini Atonio is the heaviest player in the RBS 6 Nations, weighing in at 155kgs.

7) Tighthead prop Mike Ross continues his record as Ireland's only ever-present pick under head coach Joe Schmidt.

8) Ireland and France have met 92 times, with Ireland victorious 30 times to France's 55 wins, while the sides have drawn on seven occasions.

9) Ireland's biggest victory over France remains the 24-0 win in the 1913 Five Nations, while France set a record winning margin against Ireland with a 44-5 triumph in the 2002 Six Nations.

10) British and Irish Lions flanker Sean O'Brien is primed for a second attempt at his first Test action since November 2013, after a hamstring tweak ruled him out at the last-minute in Italy last weekend. The Leinster back-rower has spent the last 14 months battling two successive shoulder reconstructions.

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