Sexton fit for French clash

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 14:35
Large johnny sexton leinster points 800

SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has included Jonathan Sexton in his 34-man squad for the upcoming Six Nations clash against France.

Despite the good news for Ireland, head coach Joey Schmidt remains vigilant as he prepares his side for a 'powerful' French challenge at the Aviva Stadium in Six Nations round three next Saturday.

Ireland bounced back from a 27-22 defeat to Scotland at BT Murrayfield with a hugely impressive 63-10 triumph over Italy in round two, moving them second in the Six Nations standings.

Guy Noves' France meanwhile looked impressive despite a 19-16 defeat to defending Grand Slam champions at Twickenham on the opening weekend before outmuscling Scotland in a 22-16 victory at Stade de France next up.

France have just one win in their last five Six Nations fixtures against the Irish, but played out two thrilling draws on successive years in 2012 and 2013.

Both sides will be aware that a victory is paramount to ensure they remain in contention for the Six Nations crown - something that has not escaped Schmidt.

"We have no doubt about what French team will turn up," the 49-year-old explained.

"It will be big and it will be powerful and it will be incredibly motivated because both teams are effectively out of the contest if they lose next Saturday.

"They were super against England and solid against Scotland when they did enough to win,"

Ireland welcome back flyhalf Sexton, as well as wing Andrew Trimble, flank Peter O'Mahony and captain Rory Best is back in full training after missing the Italy win through illness.

And despite the pressure to deliver when France arrive at the Aviva, Schmidt says his players will relish the challenge.

"We know we are under the hammer. How the players respond when they are under the hammer, we will find out a little bit I guess. We're not happy to be where we are but we're excited about the challenge we face," Schmidt said.

"The more experiences you get in that domain the greater your ability to cope in those situations,"

Ireland squad:

Forwards: Rory Best (captain), Tadhg Furlong, Cian Healy, Jamie Heaslip, Iain Henderson, Dan Leavy, Jack McGrath, Sean O'Brien, Tommy O'Donnell, Peter O'Mahony, Quinn Roux, Donnacha Ryan, John Ryan, Niall Scannell, CJ Stander, Devin Toner, James Tracy

Backs: Tommy Bowe, Andrew Conway, Keith Earls, Craig Gilroy, Robbie Henshaw, Paddy Jackson, Rob Kearney, Ian Keatley, Kieran Marmion, Luke Marshall, Luke McGrath, Conor Murray, Tiernan O'Halloran, Garry Ringrose, Jonathan Sexton, Andrew Trimble, Simon Zebo

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
England 5 4 0 1 19
Ireland 5 3 0 2 14
France 5 3 0 2 14
Scotland 5 3 0 2 14
Wales 5 2 0 3 10
Italy 5 0 0 5 0