France out-half Romain Ntamack has argued that Ireland are the “comfortable favourites” to win Saturday’s Six Nations encounter.
Ireland welcome France to the Aviva Stadium on Saturday for a game that is already being described as a potential Grand Slam decider, as they occupy the top two spots in the Six Nations and the World Rugby Rankings.
Under head coach Andy Farrell Ireland have notched some significant victories, although they have failed to beat France in the last three encounters between the two.
Despite France’s recent winning record against Ireland, Ntamack told AFP that he believes his side will be the clear underdogs on Saturday.
Romain Ntamack on France’s upcoming clash with Ireland.
“They are world number one, it’s not for nothing, they are comfortably favourites. There’s no debate. They showed and proved that in round one against Wales,” Ntamack said.
“They’re good in all areas. They have very few weaknesses, if any. It’s going to be an arm wrestle for 80 minutes.
“First things first, we’ll be happy to win on Saturday. It would mean that we’re still in line for a second Grand Slam. It’s really the objective.
“Beyond impressing, beyond thinking about the World Cup, if we want to defend our title and write history, it comes with a win in Ireland.”
Ahead of the most eagerly-awaited #IREvFRA clash in recent memory, here are some of our favourite Championship meetings between the two ☘️🇫🇷
— Guinness Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) February 8, 2023
The battle of the half backs will be crucial.
Ireland’s half back combination of Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton boast far more experience that Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamack, although there is little to separate the two in terms of quality.
Dupont is better than Murray, although the Munster scrum-half looked his old self against Wales and will be eager to show he can perform at a similar high level against France.
Sexton still has the edge over Ntamack, although the French star has more flair than his Irish counterpart, while the talented Mathieu Jalibert will be looking to make an impact off the bench.
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