In fact, Ireland have never won across the Channel and have scored four tries in the process. In 2000, when Brian O’Driscoll plundered a hat-trick, those were the only three five points his team had.
Six years later Ireland scored four tries but lost 43-31. It’s hard to imagine a team coached by Shaun Edwards, who certainly added some steel to France this year when they arrived from Wales, being so flaky.
Then again, Blues can win the competition with a heavy triumph which goes back to England on the points difference. They need a 32-point win… so it might just open up. Here are the teams.
15. Anthony Bouthier, 14. Gael Fickou, 13. Virimi Vakatawa, 12. Arthur Vincent, 11. Vincent Ratez, 10 Romain Ntamack, 9. Antoine Dupont; 1. Cyril Baille, 2. Julien Marchand, 3.Mohamed Haouas, 4. Bernard le Roux, 5.Paul Willemse, 6. Francois Cros, 7. Charles Ollivon (captain), 8. Gregory Alldritt
Replacements: 16. Camille Chat, 17. Jean-Baptiste Gros, 18. Demba Bamba, 19. Romain Taofifenua, 20. Dylan Cretin, 21. Baptiste Serin, 22. Arthur Retiere, 23. Thomas Ramos
15. Jacob Stockdale, 14. Andrew Conway, 13. Robbie Henshaw, 12. Bundee Aki, 11. Hugo Keenan, 10. Johnny Sexton (capitaine) 9. Conor Murray; 1. Cian Healy, 2. Rob Herring, 3. Andrew Porter, 4. Tadhg Beirne, 5. James Ryan, 6. Caelan Doris, 7. Will Connors, 8. CJ Stander
Remplaçants: 16. Dave Heffernan, 17. Ed Byrne 18. Finlay Bealham, 19. Ultan Dillane, 20. Peter O’Mahony, 21. Jamison Gibson-Park, 22. Ross Byrne, 23. Chris Farrell