Ireland's love for Johnny Sexton truly knows no bounds

Matthieu Jalibert

France were accused of abusing the HIA system after snatching a late victory over Wales past year. "This Six Nations, we have the youngest squad we have had and there is a degree of excitement in that", said the New Zealander, whose side have an average age of 26.5.

Now, as an investigation into the incident begins, it has emerged that Dupont will play no further part in the Championships and will likely be sidelined for the remainder of the season.

France went into the tournament off the back off a bad autumn campaign in which they failed to win any of their four fixtures.

"It wasn't our decision", said France coach Jacques Brunel.

The world class half-back pairing of Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray, with nearly 130 caps between them, have far more experience than their French counterparts, Maxime Machenaud, 31 caps, and 19-year-old Matthieu Jalibert who is making his debut.

Jalibert has only 15 appearances for club side Bordeaux-Begles in the French Top 14 league.

Les Bleus are now without a win in seven games and have lost six of their past nine matches in the Six Nations.

Moreover, they are now on an eight-game winning streak and have registered 11 wins in 13 matches.

Matthieu Jalibert
GETTYMatthieu Jalibert had to go off after 30 minutes of France vs Ireland

In all, Joe Schmidt has handed out three Six Nations debuts with Ulster's Jacob Stockdale, Bundee Aki of Ulster and James Ryan from Leinster those set to make their competition bows.

Leinster's Ryan, who made his global debut six months ago before he had even played a game for Leinster, started for Ireland for the first time in November and gets the nod ahead of experienced clubmate Devon Toner.

Following a penalty 22 minutes in awarded by Nigel Owens, Sexton only went and slotted it over again.

But Sexton, who earlier missed a regulation penalty, had the last say with a drop goal from almost half-way.

"Conor Murray tackles Dupont, there is not impact of the head on the ground and you see the anguish is to do with his knee injury".

If selected, Beauxis may take the kicking duties from scrumhalf Maxime Machenaud, who struck two penalties for France against Ireland.

Ireland enjoyed twice as much possession and territorial advantage as their hosts.

But where Sexton was to show pinpoint accuracy, replacement French flyhalf Anthony Belleau wavered and sent his penalty wide of the uprights.

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