Gordon D’Arcy says France could surprise Ireland on Saturday
Former international spoke to the Added Time podcast ahead of Six Nations opener
A general view of Ireland training at the Stade de France ahead of the Six Nations clash with France. Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho
Gordon D’Arcy says Ireland must be wary of the unpredictable nature of France when they come up against them in Paris on Saturday.
Speaking to Added Time, the former Ireland international and Irish Times columnist said that the nature of the French is to be quite unstructured and that he doesn’t see it changing too much under Jacques Brunel.
“The French by their very nature have been traditionally unpredictable but they have been moving towards a much more structured and I suppose anglicised approach to rugby. But with Brunel as the coach I can’t see a huge amount of structures being brought into place,” D’Arcy told presenter Malachy Clerkin.
“Even in the shambolic period that France have been in for the last three or four years we’ve only really delivered against them once when we won the Six Nations in Paris. We had a draw previous to that but if it’s not in Dublin it’s been a close, close game.
“He’s wonderfully athletic, incredibly mature lad for somebody who has just turned 21. It’s remarkable to think that he’s only started five games for Leinster and one game for Ireland. This is his seventh pro appearance at senior level so even [Matthieu]Jallibert has more, he’s played 15 games.”
In Saturday’s Irish Times you can read an exclusive interview with Joe Schmidt after he sat down with Gerry Thornley at Carton House. The Ireland coach talks about the battles ahead, how he copes with the pressures of management, the importance of family life away from sport and his thoughts on eventually returning to his native New Zealand.
“I was surprised to have the request granted,” said the rugby correspondent.
“Suprised at how much of his time he gave me – he pretty much gave me an hour of his time on Tuesday. It’s not something I’ve been able to do with Joe since early in his Leinster days so that must be about seven years ago. He was very chatty, very amiable and good company.”
You can read the full interview in tomorrow’s Irish Times or online at irishtimes.com/sport.
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