France's Alldritt treating Ireland test like any other Six Nations game

France's Alldritt treating Ireland test like any other Six Nations game

Les Bleus' skipper, Grégory Alldritt, has claimed that tonight's mammoth opening Six Nations test in Marseille against the current Grand Slam holders, Ireland, will not be a more pressurised event than other Six Nations games.

Ireland and France begin the campaign at 8 p.m. tonight, and the game is already being billed up as a Grand Slam decider in game 1 of the Six Nations.

The Irish beat the French in 2023, and France did a number on Ireland on their way to their own Grand Slam in 2022, and more drama is expected to unfold later this evening.

Despite both teams losing key players through injuries, retirement, and the likes of the Olympics, French captain Aldritt believes that the French will not treat the Ireland clash as the blockbuster that it is being billed up to be. However, he does believe that France will put in a "huge" performance.

"There is a lot of pride and a lot of honour," said Grégory Alldritt on Thursday.

"We have largely been together for the past four years; we feed off each other automatically, and I have only one desire for it to be Friday.

"For the moment, I feel the same pressure as I do before every Six Nations and every Test.

"We do not put negative pressure on ourselves; we have confidence in our strategy, but we will have to be extremely accurate and up our intensity for the game.

"We have worked well, and I believe we are ready to produce a huge performance. It is necessary to have this amount of pressure on one, so my stomach is tied up in knots for each match."

France's number 8 Gregory Alldritt (L) is tackled by Ireland's centre Garry Ringrose (R) during the Six Nations international rugby union match between Ireland and France at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on February 11, 2023. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Since 1909, France and Ireland have played each other in a total of 102 test matches, with France winning 59 times, Ireland winning 36 times, and seven matches drawn.Ireland's last win in France came in 2018 via Johnny Sexton's drop goal in Paris.

Alldritt has also called on French supporters to make as much noise as possible in the Vélodrome this evening so that run can extend even further.

"The supporters give us a lot of energy; there is a crazy energy that filters down from the stands. We will need as much help as possible.

"We really love the stadium; I have loads of great memories. We like the Stade de France, but the Vélodrome is a case apart and truly special."

The highly anticipated match on Friday will be broadcast live on Virgin Media One in the Republic of Ireland and ITV in the United Kingdom. (Kick-off is at 9 pm local time or 8 pm Irish time.)

Starting Lineup:

Hugo Keenan Fullback James Lowe, Wing Calvin Nash, Wing

Robbie Henshaw, Centre Bundee Aki Centre

Jack Crowley Fly-half Jamison Gibson-Park, Scrum-half

Andrew Porter, Prop Dan Sheehan, Hooker Tadhg Furlong, Prop

Joe McCarthy: Lock Tadhg Beirne: Lock

Peter O'Mahony, Flanker (Captain) Josh van der Flier, Flanker Caelan Doris, Number 8


Ronan Kelleher, Hooker Cian Healy, Prop Finlay Bealham, Prop James Ryan: Lock: Ryan Baird: Lock Jack Conan, Number 8: Conor Murray, Scrum-half Ciaran Frawley Fly-half

Ireland Six Nations campaign February 2:

Ireland vs. France (8 p.m. Irish time, Orange Velodrome in Marseille)

February 11: Ireland vs. Italy at Aviva Stadium (3 p.m.)

February 24: Ireland vs. Wales at Aviva Stadium (2.15 p.m.)

March 9: England vs. Ireland at Twickenham (4.45 p.m.)

March 16: Ireland vs. Scotland at Aviva Stadium (4.45 p.m.)