Share this article

On paper, the equation is quite simple for Ireland: score four tries, beat France in Paris and the Six Nation is theirs. For Andy Farrell the reality is quite different.

The head coach named his team for the showdown in Saint-Denis on Wednesday, with just one enforced change from the team that so handily dispatched Italy.

Robbie Henshaw comes in at outside-centre for the injured Garry Ringrose.

Prior to the Italy game, Farrell had spoken of the need for Ireland to evolve their style, while Ringrose talked of "what's the right thing at the right time to take advantage of whatever opportunity is there?".

With images of Peter O'Mahony's flashy offload still dancing in Irish heads, some may wonder if Farrell's squad will be taking some of their own Gallic flair to the French capital.

"High-risk strategy? Probably not," the Wigan man said on Wednesday, "A plan that we know, that we're comfortable with, that we can play our own game and see how that effects France along the way as well.

"It's going to be a game of feel, isn't it? The game's for 80-minutes, and we'll feel how the game's going throughout.

"But there certainly won't be one of high-risk strategy, otherwise you've seen the type of team that we're playing against - we could end up shooting ourselves in the foot massively."

Indeed, the last time Ireland went to Paris and scored four tries - in the halcyon days before bonus points - they lost.

February 11 2006, Ronan O'Gara, Gordon D'Arcy, Donnacha O'Callaghan and Andrew Trimble all crossed the whitewash, but Eddie O'Sullivan's side still lost 43-31, eventually surrendering the title on points difference to Saturday's hosts.

"Games take their own momentum for all sorts of different reasons, and you've got to create your own luck by the intent in your game," Farrell said.

"And that's not from a risk point-of-view, that's from an attitude point-of-view.

"It's a big game that we want to win. We want to win for everyone in Ireland, and we want to win for ourselves as well.

"It's a massive game, we know that, but we can't let that - the occasion - get in the way of the plan going forward."

Share this article

Read more about

Andy Farrell Eddie O'Sullivan France Ireland Ronan O'Gara Six Nations

You might like