Matthieu Jalibert set for France debut in Six Nations opener

Dupont’s injury allowed starting scrum half Machenaud to return to the field

France's teenage sensation Matthieu Jalibert is likely to miss the remainder of their Six Nations campaign after the fly half sustained a serious knee injury in their opening 15-13 defeat against Ireland on Saturday.

France coach Brunel said there was no reason not to blood Jalibert in the game.

France half-backs Matthieu Jalibert and Antoine Dupont both suffered knee injuries, but were also sent for head injury assessments (HIAs).

With the exception of Sean O'Brien, Ireland are close to full strength for their Six Nation's opener against France in Paris. "This year we had a chance and we took it, thankfully".

O'Driscoll tweeted: "Just because we won with an INCREDIBLE 42 METER drop goal that HIA decision shouldn't get swept under the carpet".

Seven Leinster players have been selected by Schmidt for the match at the Stade de France, while Munster have four players in the starting XV in Paris.

Ireland had led since the third minute through Sexton's first penalty and two more successful kicks, sandwiching Maxime Machenaud's score, had the visitors 9-3 ahead at the break.

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When asked what he thought of before kicking the winning goal, the fly-half said: "I went back to many years ago when we played Treviso away and I was in an nearly identical position and just flashed back to that".

Jones, who is famed for his psychological banter, said: "I'm excited by our prospects, particularly as we have been written off".

"I think the officials are
trying really hard to protect all 30 people on the pitch".

Former Ireland Under-20s captain Ryan has always been earmarked as a future Test leader, and now has the chance to cement his promise against a powerful French pack.

Like Jalibert, Castres full-back Geoffrey Palis will make his Test debut in Brunel's first match in charge of Les Bleus. "But I hope we've built up enough team spirit to be combative". I get that it's not Nigel's issue because he has to put the onus on the French doctor and for him to say "Oh yeah, that's a HIA". It's just disappointing to see two players going off with knee injuries under a HIA.

For their part, Ireland will be targeting the young playmaker, although South African-born British and Irish Lions flanker CJ Stander insists there would be nothing unusual about that regardless.

"And how you handle that, I suppose that does separate those who can step up and those who cannot", added the Ireland skipper.

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