Six Nations: Ireland v France - France player profiles

Patrick Madden profiles France as they go unchanged for the first time since 2012

 

15 Thomas Ramos ( Toulouse)
Age: 23
Height: 5’ 8”
Weight: 80kg (12st, 9lbs)
Caps: 2
After France were destroyed in the backfield by England Ramos offered an assured presence against Scotland, covering smartly and launching a number of exciting counterattacks.

14 Damian Penaud (Clermont Auvergne)
Age: 22
Height: 6’ 2”
Weight: 90kg (14st, 3lbs)
Caps: 9
Scored a pearl of a try in a losing cause at Twickenham and is electric with the ball in hand. His defensive travails that day won’t have been forgotten, however, and he could be an aerial target.

13 Mathieu Bastareaud (Toulon)
Age: 30
Height: 6’
Weight: 126kg (19st, 12lbs)
Caps: 52
You know what you’re getting with Bastareaud, who combines his barnstorming carries with a delicate touch. He is now playing the role of senior statesmen among a young backline.

12 Gael Fickou (Stade Francais)
Age: 24
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 90kg (14st, 3lbs)
Caps: 44
Restored to the midfield for the win over Scotland, Fickou is a sublime footballer and while still only 24 he is an experienced and electric presence. His match-up with Aki will be fascinating.

11 Yoann Huget (Toulouse)
Age: 31
Height: 96kg (15st, 2lbs)
Weight: 6’ 1”
Caps: 56
The enigmatic Huget delivered a Jekyll and Hyde performance against Scotland – he is capable of both the sublime and the stupid, a polar opposite to the ultra-consistent Keith Earls.

10 Romain Ntamack (Toulouse)
Age: 19
Height: 6’ 1”
Weight: 86kg (13st, 8lbs)
Caps: 3
The prince of French rugby is a natural on the ball and he made 20 tackles on his international bow at outhalf. Sexton and the Irish backrow will be looking to knock him down a peg or two on Sunday.

9 Antoine Dupont (Toulouse)
Age: 22
Height: 5’ 7”
Weight: 84kg (13st, 4lbs)
Caps: 12
Dupont was electric against Scotland, a livewire around the fringes with crisp passing and intelligent kicking. Murray will have to be alert, otherwise Dupont could make him look a bit old.

1 Jefferson Poirot (Bordeaux Begles)
Age: 26
Height: 5’ 10”
Weight: 120kg (18st, 13lbs)
Caps: 25
Both French props played nearly 70 minutes against Scotland, providing some rare and welcome stability in the frontrow. However, an afternoon against Tadhg Furlong should prove more taxing for Poirot.

2 Guilhem Guirado (Toulon)
Age: 32
Height: 6’
Weight: 105kg (16st, 8lbs)
Caps: 66
Captain Guirado led by example to steady the French ship against the Scots, making 16 tackles and 11 carries. He must lead from the front once again in Dublin.

3 Demba Bamba (Brive)
Age: 20
Height: 6’
Weight: 124kg (19st, 8lbs)
Caps: 4
Man of the match against Scotland, Bamba is a thrilling talent who combines thunderous physicality with balletic feet. Remind you of anyone else with the number three on their back?

4 Sebastien Vahaamahina (Clermont Auvergne)
Age: 27
Height: 6’ 7”
Weight: 125kg (19st, 10lbs)
Caps: 39
The giant Vahaamahina has recovered admirably after playing a headline part in France’s meltdown against Wales by chucking the ball to George North. He will be at the heart of his side’s physical challenge.

4 Felix Lambey (Lyon)
Age: 24
Height: 6’4”
Weight: 109kg (17st 3lbs)
Caps: 5
A lithe figure in the secondrow, Lambey was another to put in a good shift against Scotland and is a fine lineout option. The Lyon lock doesn’t seem to have the physicality of opposite number James Ryan.

6 Wencelas Lauret (Racing 92)
Age: 29
Height: 6’ 2”
Weight: 103kg (16st, 3lbs)
Caps: 22
Lauret was a mammoth presence against Scotland, making 22 tackles, and is a both a solid lineout option and a good at disrupting opposition ball. A repeat would be welcome in Dublin.

7 Arthur Iturria (Clermont Auvergne)
Age: 24
Height: 6’ 5”
Weight: 107kg (16st, 12lbs)
Caps: 9
A foraging backrow who quietly goes about his business, he made 18 tackles against the Scots and France will require his high work rate around the park on Sunday afternoon.

8 Louis Picamoles (Montpellier)
Age: 33
Height: 6’3”
Weight: 117kg (18st 6lbs)
Caps: 75
The imposing number eight remains a huge threat with the ball in hand – a blend of power and athleticism - but is also dogged on the floor and has an eye for a pass.

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