HomeRugbyRugby Irish6 Nations Preview: France vs Ireland Match Preview

6 Nations Preview: France vs Ireland Match Preview

The competition to determine the best team in Europe starts in early February, marking the beginning of the 2024 Six Nations tournament. European nations did not have much luck at the World Cup last year. However, the second cycle will start in France on Friday, February 3.

This edition of the tournament is expected to be very competitive since all of the top contenders will need to address some uncertainties. Ireland triumphed in the 2023 Six Nations tournament, and they’ll kickstart this year’s competition in the opening game versus France.

Join us as we preview The Six Nations 2024 opening match between Ireland and France, as we break down the intricacies of this intriguing battle.


France vs. Ireland Game Information

Date: Friday, February 3rd, 2024

Location: Orange Velodrome, Marseille, France

Kick-off: 20:00 GMT

Where to Watch: ITV, RTE & Virgin Media

France & Ireland: The Teams to Beat

France and Ireland have achieved the Grand Slam in the last two tournaments and are once again expected to be the most fearsome competitors.

France benefits from a strategic advantage in the fixture list since their most challenging matches against Ireland and England are scheduled on home soil.

Ireland has not emerged victorious in France since their close 15-13 triumph in 2018. Overcoming this streak will prove to be challenging, especially in the presence of a fervent French audience.

The retirement of Captain Johnny Sexton is a setback for their aspirations. As a result, it’s probable that Ireland will have challenges securing the leading position in the Six Nations this year.

France vs. Ireland: The History

Ireland secured a 32-19 victory with a bonus point over France in the 2023 Championship.

Overall, these sides have competed in a grand total of 102 test matches since their first encounter in 1909. France was victorious in 59, whilst Ireland won 36. Additionally, there have been a total of seven games that ended in a tie between the two countries.

Six Nations 2024 Betting Odds Insight


Six Nations Winner

Grand Slam Winner

Triple Crown Winner








France [5/4]

France failed to capitalise on their home advantage in the World Cup last year, as they were eliminated in the quarterfinals after an intense match against South Africa in Paris.

Nevertheless, their prospects of achieving Six Nations triumph this year are undeniably enhanced by the advantageous circumstance of hosting both Ireland and England. However, Antoine Dupont will not participate in the French team this year, as the renowned athlete dedicates his attention to sevens rugby in anticipation of the Summer Olympics. France emerged as the leading team in the rugby rankings in 2022, and they have a strong chance of surpassing their second-place performance from the previous year.

Ireland [13/8]

Ireland will embark on a new chapter in their rugby journey without the presence of Jonny Sexton. The team aims to secure a consecutive victory in the Six Nations tournament, as they exerted their dominance in the sport last year by achieving a Grand Slam victory, triumphing over all their opponents.

However, critics remain ambiguous about the team’s likelihood of successfully retaining the crown since there may be excessive pressure on the up-and-coming players to secure a significant win right from the start in a country, France, where they haven’t obtained victory since 2018. Nevertheless, it is improbable that they will finish this competition below the top two positions. Despite the growing squad concerns, highly recommended Irish gambling sites still favour the team to do well with odds of 13/8.

Coping Without Johnny Saxton

Although Ireland will confidently approach the tournament, the absence of Sexton will certainly create a significant void in their backline. Ireland’s renowned captain retired after the World Cup, resulting in a leadership change on the field as they enter the Six Nations.

Sexton guided Ireland to victory in four Six Nations tournaments and now holds the record for the most tally of points in the competition, with a total of 566. Coach Andy Farrell will rely on new captain Peter O’Mahony to replace the departed influential figure.

The Munster flanker is experienced in leadership, having previously led his side 10 times and also leading the British and Irish Lions. He will eagerly show his gratitude to Farrell by winning the Six Nations championship for the second consecutive year.

In addition to Sexton’s leadership, Ireland will feel the absence of the former fly-half’s scoring ability. Consequently, there is pressure on his subordinates to perform at a higher level. Jack Crowley, Ciaran Frawley, and Harry Byrne, despite having just a combined total of 12 appearances, have been selected to replace Sexton at fly-half.

Besides the absence of Saxton, alterations have been made elsewhere to the Ireland World Cup team, who suffered a defeat in the quarterfinals. Jacob Stockdale and Nick Timoneyhave reentered consideration for selection, along with Jordan Larmour, Cian Healy, and Calvin Nash, who were unable to participate in the tournament in France due to injury.

Revenge Game for Les Bleus

During the 2023 Guinness Six Nations, France fought fiercely against Ireland until Super Saturday. Still, it ultimately had to accept second place as Andy Farrell’s team achieved a perfect record of five victories out of five.

The Round 1 match in Marseille will be a rematch of a pivotal encounter that eventually determined the outcome of the 2023 Championship.

Ireland was victorious against France with a score of 32-19 at Aviva Stadium during Round 2 last year. This fixture will be renowned for its exceptional standard, making it one of the most remembered Guinness Six Nations games to date; however, this year, boasting a home advantage, it’s undoubtedly the French side’s game to lose.

As previously mentioned, Ireland is still a viable contender. Still, France, who have had a spectacular transformation in recent years, is the frontrunner to win and will certainly provide the biggest challenge to the Irish.

Given the anticipated strong performance from both sides, it is quite likely that the champions of this year’s competition will be determined during the first weekend, as it is quite likely that the victors of this encounter will ultimately emerge as the overall winners.

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