Coach, Marc Lievremont has come in for his share of criticism in the French media for bringing a team to Dublin that has a rookie scrum-half Sebastian Tillous-Barde serving an out-half Lionel Beauxis who plays full-back for his club, no recognised goal-kicker and a second-row Sebastian Chabal who was proved on countless occasions that his most effective position is number 8.
Nor need the Irish be overly concerned by an explosive French bench because they didn't bring one and given that Declan Kidney has selected a bang in-form Munster front five plus regular partners Tomas O'Leary and Ronan O'Gara at half-back, there is every reason to expect the likes of Luke Fitzgerald, Tommy Bowe and Rob Kearney to give full rein to their considerable attacking talent.
Ireland: Rob Kearney; Tommy Bowe, Brian O'Driscoll (capt), Paddy Wallace, Luke Fitzgerald; Ronan O'Gara, Tomas O'Leary; Marcus Horan, Jerry Flannery, John Hayes; Donncha O'Callaghan, Paul O'Connell; Stephen Ferris, David Wallace, Jamie Heaslip.
Replacements: Rory Best, Tom Court, Mal O'Kelly, Denis Leamy, Peter Stringer, Gordon D'Arcy, Geordan Murphy.
France: Clement Poitrenaud; Julien Malzieu, Florian Fritz, Yannick Jauzion, Maxime Medard; Lionel Beauxis, Sebastien Tillous-Borde; Lionel Faure, Dimitri Szarzewski, Benoit Lecouls; Sebastien Chabal, Lionel Nallet (capt); Thierry Dusautoir, Fulgence Ouedraogo, Imanol Harinordoquy. Replacements: Benjamin Kayser, Nicolas Mas, Romain Millo-Chluski, Louis Picamoles, Morgan Parra, Benoit Baby, Cedric Heymans.