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French name unchanged team for Ireland

France’s rugby players take part in a training session at the Groupama stadium in Decines-Charpieu near Lyon, on November 13, 2017

MARCOUSSIS, France, March 5 – French coach Jacques Brunel named Tuesday an unchanged line-up for the Six Nations fixture away to Ireland.

For Sunday’s clash Brunel keeps faith with the team that beat Scotland 27-10 in their last outing on February 23 and also recalls en bloc the same replacements for the difficult trip to Dublin.

The win against Scotland boosted French morale following a 24-19 defeat in their opening Six Nations match against Wales and the 44-8 hammering by England at Twickenham.

The line-up includes 19-year-old Romain Ntamack, who retains his place after being chosen ahead of the experienced Camille Lopez at flyhalf following the England debacle.

“It seems pretty logical (to recall the team) after their performance against Scotland, which was quite satisfactory after the England disappointment,” said Brunel.

Ntamack’s youthful Toulouse club partner Antoine Dupont will start again at scrumhalf, meaning the half-back partnership has a combined age of just 41 years.

France team to play Ireland (15-1)

Thomas Ramos; Damien Penaud, Mathieu Bastareaud, Gael Fickou, Yoann Huget; Romain Ntamack, Antoine Dupont; Louis Picamoles, Arthur Iturria, Wenceslas Lauret; Sebastien Vahaamahina, Felix Lambey; Demba Bamba, Guilhem Guirado (capt), Jefferson Poirot

Replacements: Camille Chat, Etienne Falgoux, Dorian Aldegheri, Paul Willemse, Gregory Alldritt, Baptiste Serin, Anthony Belleau, Maxime Medard.

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