Six Nations 2018: France accused of abusing the HIA rule

Six Nations 2018: France accused of abusing the HIA rule

Six Nations 2018: France accused of abusing the HIA rule

'He will be out for a least a month, maybe two, ' France coach Jacques Brunel said on Sunday.

"We think he's able to handle this role".

Brunel is not hiding from the challenge ahead and admits that few people will expect a home victory on Saturday.

Replacements: Adrien Pelissie, Dany Priso, Cedate Gomes Sa, Paul Gabrillagues, Marco Tauleigne, Antoine Dupont, Anthony Belleau, Benjamin Fall.

France were reprimanded for not following HIA protocols relating to a change of props during the conclusion of their Six Nations victory over Wales in Paris previous year.

Leinster's Ryan, who made his global debut six months ago before he had even played a game for Leinster, started for Ireland for the first time in November and gets the nod ahead of experienced clubmate Devon Toner.

They were reprimanded for not following HIA protocols, although the Untoward Incident Review Group found there was "no clear evidence" France had "tried to obtain a competitive advantage".

"It's a position we don't have huge depth in, and we've given James an opportunity", Schmidt said.

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Schmidt explained: "We felt he went really well against Montpellier and we are looking forward to seeing what he will deliver".

Ireland R Kearney; K Earls, R Henshaw, B Aki, J Stockdale (F McFadden 74); J Sexton, C Murray; C Healy (J McGrath 60), R Best (capt, S Cronin 67), T Furlong (Jo Ryan 69), I Henderson, Ja Ryan (D Toner 67), P O'Mahony, J van der Flier (D Leavy 36), CJ Stander.

Hooker Guilhem Guirado will captain the side in their Six Nations opener.

France have opted for youth over experience this Six Nations and Matthieu Jalibert is a prime example of this. However we have seen in the past how devastating a French team can be when they play with no fear or restraint.

Both will be on the bench against Ireland as hopes are pinned on Jalibert's young shoulders, although Brunel has opted to select 29-year-old Maxime Machenaud as his half-back partner.

"It says a lot about the management and that we've got some good characters in the team because it looked like it might be deja vu".

Irish players protested the decision with Ireland outhalf Johnny Sexton arguing with match referee Nigel Owens, while TV pictures showed Dupont being helped down the tunnel by two French medical staff.

Williams is the only new cap named in Ireland's starting XV by head coach Adam Griggs.

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