Coach takes lessons from last year’s Paris defeat into the first Six Nations game to feature the world’s current top two
The streets around the stadium were quiet the day before the game, but if you listened carefully you could hear the crackle. It was there in the conversations at the coffee shops, and between the kids chattering at the bus stops, it was in the snatches of talk radio coming from the open windows of the cabs idling at the rank around the corner, and in the glimpses of the TV screens in the pubs along the Pembroke Road. “Dan Sheehan’s going to be a big miss for us.” “France are bound to be better this week.” “At least Conor Murray’s playing.” “If we play the way they did in the first half against Wales ….” It’s only going to get louder now. And by Saturday afternoon, it will be deafening.
Every Test match matters, but this one matters more than most. It’s the first time the two best teams in the world have played each other in the Six Nations. Ireland have been top of the rankings since they beat New Zealand in Wellington last summer. It is a reward for a run of form in which they have beaten every team in the top 10 except the one right behind them in second place. France have won the past three games between the teams, by eight in 2020, two in 2021, and six in 2023. No doubt that Ireland feel they have something to prove, to themselves as much as to everyone else. Being first doesn’t much matter if second is better.
Written by Andy Bull in Dublin
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2023/feb/10/six-nations-ireland-france-andy-farrell-dublin-preview under the title “Farrell urges Ireland to tackle France ‘full on’ in Six Nations global summit”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.