Ireland take late win over France in Six Nations

9 New Caps In Ireland U20 Team For 6 Nations Opener.

9 New Caps In Ireland U20 Team For 6 Nations Opener.

In Dupont's case, the HIA meant France were able to return their starting scrum-half to the fray.

Owens said the official matchday doctor advised a HIA was needed and stuck with the call, having also sought clarification from the fourth official.

Will it or won't it?

"And how you handle that, I suppose that does separate those who can step up and those who cannot", added the Ireland skipper. It was close, and defeat would have been disastrous for Irish hopes of regaining the title from England but a win, however, narrow, now gives them crucial momentum to take into next week's home game against Italy.

Despite the obvious agony of their knee injuries, both players were registered as head-injury assessments, conjuring memories of France's win over Wales here last season.

Yet people in the game will rightly feel disgusted if they believe that the HIA law - commendably introduced to prioritise player welfare - is being abused.

"The big thing is how they (France) play as a team". Had Dupont come off with a non-head or blood injury, the Racing 92 player would not have been allowed back on.

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

9 New Caps In Ireland U20 Team For 6 Nations Opener.
Six Nations winners and their win loss record

"I thought it was pretty disgraceful. for the French doctor to say 'Oh, that's a HIA'".

The gift that keeps on giving.

.

Ireland have secured two wins in France since 1972.

"The lads' legs were out and I don't think we could have gone another couple of phases so just got there in the end". Keith Earls will win his 64th cap on the wing while flanker Josh van der Flier fills the considerable vacuum left by the injured British and Irish Lions star Sean O'Brien.

France was investigated a year ago after props were changed late in their win over Wales. Thankfully it was ideal, and the take from Earls was incredible. France had used all their replacements and would not have been permitted to send Machenaud back on if a HIA was not required.

That was the highlight of a hard debut for the 19-year-old Bordeaux playmaker, who was forced to leave the pitch moments later after a large collision with the imposing frame of Ireland new boy Bundee Aki, which left both players on the deck. He had started to settle down, however, when he hurt his knee tackling Bundee Aki and retired from the fray on 29 minutes.

"Physically getting off the line, you know how tough they are".

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