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Eddie O'Sullivan predicts Sexton will have France's 10s "for breakfast"


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The wait is almost over and there's every chance Ireland can make a positive start to the Six Nations when they take on an uncertain France this weekend. 

Former Ireland head coach Eddie O'Sullivan and ex-Leinster and Ireland scrum half Eoin Reddan joined Joe on Monday Night Rugby to look ahead to the start of the tournament. 

While Reddan believes the unknown quantity that France is could be dangerous for Ireland, Eddie feels the experience deficit, particularly at half back, gives Ireland a huge advantage. 

You can listen to the full preview on the podcast player: 

Eddie O'Sullivan predicts Sexton will have France's 10s "for breakfast"

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

"Certainly the No 10, whether it's a 21 year old or 19 year old, that's a gamble [France head coach Jacques Brunel] seems to be taking," said Eddie.

"I think that could be a killer for him. He's picked a lot of uncapped players. Now, he'll probably put together a good attacking game-plan and it mightn't be very expansive. He might just play very pragmatic rugby.

"But I think defensively they'll very much struggle because France haven't been notorious for their defensive strategies. They've never really embraced defensive systems and that's something that's killed them over recent years. They tend to back their athleticism and decision-making in defence and if he's trying to ingrain a new defence system, which you might think he would want to do, I don't think the time he has now is going to get that bedded in and I think they'll be vulnerable defensively."

And on the callow nature of the half-back line in comparison to Ireland's staffed by Jonathan Sexton and Conor Murray, Eddie added: "I just don't think they're a better team than Ireland. I think Ireland are a better rugby team, more experienced rugby team and particularly at 10. Like, Sexton will have these two guys for breakfast. He's just that much more experienced than them. I know they've got Macheneaud at 9 but I just think the 9-10 fulcrum with Murray and Sexton are critical to Ireland." 


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