France vs Ireland prediction: Six Nations 2022 Week Two

Banner with the French and Ireland flags, for the Six Nations.
TournamentSix Nations
TimetableSaturday 12th of February at 16:45 GMT
PredictionIreland to Win
OddsFind out the latest odds
Bookmakerbetway
Ireland to Win
The best odds
Odds : 0
No odds available just yet
Bonus
€30
Bet
Odds : 0
No odds available just yet
Bonus
Bet
Odds : 0
No odds available just yet
Bonus
£50
Bet

The middle match of week two of the 2022 Six Nations will see two of the most likely teams to win the competition come face to face to settle old scores. Last year, France saw through the victory, but could the balance be tipped this year? After all, Ireland are on a hot streak and Andy Farrell seems to have them in the form of their life. This is going to be a big game. Read on to find out whom I think will be singing from the rafters at the end.

france-versus-italy-flags

Background

France are both the historic champions with 58 wins out of 100, as well as last year's winner, 15-13. A lot of pundits think that France will undoubtedly stick the knife into Ireland again this year, but that point seems confused when you consider that Ireland are both a place ahead of the French in world rankings (4th and 5th respectively) and that Ireland have had the better run of recent form. Indeed, if you look at the results from the Autumn Internationals 2021, Ireland pulled off a clean sweep - even with a win against the ever-ferocious New Zealand, who left France, on the other hand, with a bitter taste in the mouth.

I think this is going to be a colossal game, with the winner of this match going on either to win or become runner-up for the title.

The Advantage of Playing at Home

Apart from being fantastic for fans, playing at home can fire up a team like nothing else. France will certainly be glad to be back at the Stade de France, even with Covid restrictions in place; unfortunately, it seems that there won't be many Irish fans being able to make the travel as an alternative voice in the stadium. Nevertheless, the fans in green, the ones that will be able to make it, will be in full cheer as they will believe that the match is theirs for the taking - especially with the eight-game winning streak Ireland are currently on. All in all, it's going to be an absolutely cracking atmost, even if I am predicting unexpected sorrow - more on that later.

A Look at the Best of the France vs Ireland Squads

France and Ireland boast impressive selections of players, coming from the United Rugby Championship, the Premiership, and the Top-14. Both sides also host a mixture of youth and experience that will drive them to fantastic results in the competition. With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the biggest game-changers for each team.

The Best of the France Rugby Squad

Charles Ollivon

PositionClub TeamNumber of Caps
FlankerToulon23

Ollivon is France's captain and a regular starter for Toulon. He is a lead from the front type and a real inspiration to the French - even with only 23 caps. He may be lacking in a little match fitness due to being recently back from injury, but you can be sure he will be fearlessly running at the Irish line and creating problems to be solved for complacent defenders.

Antoine Dupont

PositionClub TeamNumber of Caps
Scrum-halfToulouse35

As a fly-half with just over 20 caps, he has already racked up over 100 points for his side. He has great command of the backs and can see attacking opportunities that lesser fly-halfs may miss. It is no wonder that he won the 2019 World Breakthrough Player of the Year.

Gaël Fickou

PositionClub TeamNumber of Caps
Centre/WingRacing 9266

Fickou is in the prime of his life, and he is already being compared to the great Sonny Bill Williams. He already has experience at the highest level, having appeared and scored in the Rugby World Cup, so he is certainly one to watch, going into this match.

The Best of the Ireland Rugby Squad

Iain Henderson

PositionClub TeamNumber of Caps
Second Row/Flanker/Number 8Ulster65

Henderson has taken charge at Ulster, since the departure of Rory Best. He has also had predominant success with Ireland, having won the Six Nations Grand Slam in 2018 and a further two championships in 2015 and 2014.

Tadhg Furlong

PositionClub TeamNumber of Caps
PropLeinster52

The tight-head prop has been a blessing for Ireland. With commanding game awareness, magnet hands, and truck-like ball carrying skills, he is going to add a lot of value, going into this clash with France.

Robbie Henshaw

PositionClub TeamNumber of Caps
Centre/Full-backLeinster52

He may not be playing for Ireland's first round fixture against Wales, but I would be surprised not to see Henshaw play a part in this big clash. He brings a lot of experience with his game, having played with both Ireland and the British and Irish Lions, so if he plays, he will have big effect on the outcome.

France vs Ireland Winner: A Green Light for Paris?

Such a huge game begs to write the fortunes of both sides for the rest of the competition. As mentioned earlier, a lot of rugby fans are assuming things are going to go France's way, but I suspect not. France have a slight advantage of playing at home, and it goes without saying that they have an impressive squad. All of that is going to count for nothing if Andy Farrell pulls off the upset I think he will though. Farrell has really whipped the Irish into shape, and their amazing eight-matches winning streak since their defeat against France in last year's competition shows what a long way they have come. Ireland will be determined to exact revenge, and I think they will just about turn Paris green. There's my prediction then: Ireland to clinch a narrow, but deserved victory!

Ireland to Win