Six Nations Championship: Ireland v France, player statistics

What Joe Schmidt’s side will face at the Avivia Stadium

15 Scott Spedding Age: 30 Height: 6'2" Weight: 97kg (15st 2lbs) Caps: 20 Points: 21

The South African-born player has ben in excellent form of late for the French side, bringing both strength on the ball, a powerful boot and a presence under the high ball.

14 Yoann Huget Age: 29 Height: 6'2" Weight: 92kg (14st 6lbs) Caps: 44 Points: 40

Back in the team after an injury to Virimi Vakatawa the Toulouse man can also play fullback so offers an aerial presence on cross-kicks. He is a fine broken field runner with both strength and balance.


13 Remi Lamerat Age: 27 Height: 6' Weight: 105kg (16st 7lbs) Caps: 13 Points: 5

He has started France’s last six Test matches having won most of his caps previously off the bench. He’s a very powerful and direct player that takes some stopping.

12 Gael Fickou Age: 22 Height: 6'3" Weight: 90kg (14st 2lbs) Caps: 26 Points: 25

Touted as the future star of French rugby as a teenager he has grown into that skin a little bit more in recent times. An elegant midfield presence he has that eminently watchable gliding style.

11 Noa Nakaitaci Age: 26 Height: 6'3" Weight: 94kg (14st 11lbs) Caps: 12 Points: 10

The Fijian-born wing has had a little bit of a chequered career when it comes to the French team in the sense that he’s been in and out of favour; playing four matches at the 2015 World Cup but then not returning to the side until last November.

10 Camille Lopez Age: 27 Height: 5'9" Weight: 85kg (13st 5lbs) Caps: 13 Points: 100

A neat footballer with nice hands, a good range of passing and decent vision, he too has been in and out of the team in his fledgling Test career to date.

9 Baptiste Serin Age: 22 Height: 5'11" Weight: 76kg (11st 13lbs) Caps: 7 Points: 24

Already in the running as one of the outstanding players in this season's Six Nations so far, he draws tacklers like flies, creating space and time for those around him.

1 Cyril Baille Age: 23 Height: 6' Weight: 113kg (17st 11lbs) Caps: 5 Points: 0

He has fought hard to claim the jersey, starting the last five Test matches, a period in which France have played some of their best rugby in recent years. He can do capably everything that’s required of him.

2 Guilhem Guirado (capt) Age: 30 Height: 5'11" Weight: 99kg (15st 8lbs) Caps: 48 Points: 20

A tough, combative no nonsense hooker, who is something of a mirror image in playing style to the man he will oppose at the Aviva Stadium. He leads by example.

3 Rabah Slimani Age: 27 Height: 5'9" Weight: 113kg (17st 11lbs) Caps: 33 Points: 15

He is one of three changes to the team that beat Scotland and has been brought in for his ability at the scrum as Guy Noves looks to neutralise one of Ireland's attacking tenets.

4 Sebastien Vahaamahina Age: 25 Height: 6'8" Weight: 125kg (19st 9lbs) Caps: 23 Points: 0

He was capped for France after only 13 games of senior rugby against Australia in 2012 before making his Six Nations debut versus Ireland in 2013. A big man who imposes a physical toll in trying to stop him.

5 Yoann Maestri Age: 29 Height: 6'7" Weight: 119kg (18st 10lbs) Caps: 53 Points: 5

The lineout technician has played in France's last 27 Six Nations matches and in one of those was voted man of the match against Ireland (2012). He captained France for the first time last summer in Argentina.

6 Bernard Le Roux Age: 27 Height: 6'3" Weight: 100kg (15st 10lbs) Caps: 24 Points: 0

He is back in the team because of a couple of injuries and having successfully rehabilitated his own. A tough tackling flanker, he is a real threat at the breakdown and is confortable in the wider spaces.

7 Kevin Gourdon Age: 27 Height: 6'2" Weight: 98kg (15st 6lbs) Caps: 7 Points: 0

He has been first choice for the last seven test matches starting with the summer tour to Argentina, the November Test series and then having made his Six Nations debut against England won the man-of-the-match award against the Scots.

8 Louis Picamoles Age: 31 Height: 6'4" Weight: 115kg (18st 1lb) Caps: 59 Points: 40

A brilliant rugby player and difficult to contain, he has the capacity to blast through tackles; even when he’s double and treble teamed is able to get the pass away. It makes him a huge threat.

John O'Sullivan

John O'Sullivan

John O'Sullivan is an Irish Times sports writer