Welcome fitness boost for Ireland after Stade de France captain's run 6 years ago

Welcome fitness boost for Ireland after Stade de France captain's run

No late changes to the Irish line-up after Thursday's team announcement dramas.

Ireland's third, and final, training session of the week ended without any more players pulling up with injuries.

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Ireland assistant coach Simon Easterby looked a relieved man as he confirmed that the 23 players selected to face France, yesterday, will be fit to line out on Saturday at Stade de France.

Given the fact that Rob Kearney and Sean O'Brien are back from hamstring tweaks and Andrew Trimble and Johnny Sexton sat out training midweek, the clean bill of health is just wanted Joe Schmidt wants to hear.

Jonathan Sexton 12/2/2016

Ireland captain Rory Best addressed the media at this morning's press conference, after his team's run-out in rainy Paris.

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The Ulster hooker was keen to point out that, despite finishing a winner at Stade de France in 2014, his early days against Les Bleus were torrid. He was not lying - Best was on the losing side in six of his first seven Tests.

Ireland are unbeaten in five against France, at present, yet they go into the match as slight underdogs. That could be perhaps the Irish scrum struggled so badly against Wales last weekend.

Best is keen for Ireland to lay down an early marker and declared, "It is important that we start this game pushing forward."