France v Ireland, Six Nations 2024: Kick-off time, how to watch and latest team news

The Six Nations is set for a titanic opening clash – Getty Images/Brendan Moran

The 2024 Six Nations gets underway under the lights on Friday night as current holders Ireland travel to Marseille to meet France.

Both sides were among the favourites for last year’s Rugby World Cup but each failed to progress beyond the quarter-final stage, meaning attentions quickly turned to the Six Nations.

France and Ireland have seen significant squad churn since the World Cup with talismanic players on both sides, such as Antoine Dupont and Johnny Sexton, not available for selection.

When is France v Ireland?

France face Ireland on Friday, February 2. Kick off is at 8pm.

Where is France v Ireland?

The match will take place at the Orange Vélodrome in Marseille.

Marseille is the site for the opening game of the Six Nations – Getty Images/Mike Hewitt

None of France’s three home matches in the 2024 Six Nations will take place at the national team’s usual home in Paris due to preparations for the upcoming summer Olympics.

How to watch France v Ireland on TV

The match will be broadcast live in ITV1 and will be available via streaming on ITVX

Who is the referee?

England’s Karl Dickson will be in charge of the match in Marseille.

Premiership regular Karl Dickson will referee – PA Wire/Ben Whitley

France v Ireland team news and line-ups


Scrum-half Maxime Lucu will start in place of the absent Antoine Dupont.

Fabien Galthie’s starting XV shows five changes from the team which began Les Bleus’ 29-28 Rugby World Cup quarter-final defeat to South Africa on October 15.

With Dupont missing the tournament in order to focus on Sevens ahead of this year’s Paris Olympics, understudy Lucu will partner Bordeaux team-mate Matthieu Jalibert for the championship curtain-raiser in Marseille.

Maxime Lucu will start at No 9 against Ireland – AP/Thibault Camus

La Rochelle No 8 Gregory Alldritt has taken on the captaincy from Dupont, who was named player of the championship in three of the past four years.

Cyril Baille, hooker Peato Mauvaka and Uini Atonio continue in an unchanged front row, with new skipper Alldritt joined at the back of the pack by flankers Cros and Charles Ollivon.

France XV: T Ramos (Toulouse); D Penaud (Bordeaux), G Fickou (Racing 92), J Danty (La Rochelle), Y Moefana (Bordeaux); M Jalibert (Bordeaux), M Lucu (Bordeaux); C Baille (Toulouse), P Mauvaka (Toulouse), U Atonio (La Rochelle), P Gabrillagues (Stade Francais), P Willemse (Montpellier), F Cros (Toulouse), C Ollivon (Toulon), G Alldritt (La Rochelle, capt).

Replacements: J Marchand (Toulouse), R Wardi (La Rochelle), D Aldegheri (Toulouse), R Taofifenua (Lyon), C Woki (Racing 92), P Boudehent (La Rochelle), N Le Garrec (Racing 92), L Bielle-Biarrey (Bordeaux).


Munster wing Calvin Nash and Leinster lock Joe McCarthy will make their Six Nations debuts but centre Garry Ringrose misses out due to a shoulder issue.

Jack Crowley has been selected at fly-half following the retirement of former captain Johnny Sexton after the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Andy Farrell’s starting XV, led by flanker Peter O’Mahony, shows just four changes from Ireland’s 28-24 quarter-final defeat to New Zealand on October 14, with Robbie Henshaw coming in for the sidelined Ringrose in the other alteration.

Joe McCarthy will make his Six Nations debut – PA/Adam Davy

McCarthy, 22, featured twice at the tournament in France and will partner Tadhg Beirne in the second row after being preferred to experienced duo James Ryan and Iain Henderson.

Ringrose was an option to switch positions and fill the void left by Connacht star Hansen but he has been ruled out by a bang on a shoulder. The 29-year-old Leinster co-captain is expected to be back in contention for the round-two clash with Italy on February 11.

His absence sees Henshaw return to midfield, alongside 2023 World Rugby player of the year nominee Bundee Aki.

Ireland XV: H Keenan (Leinster); C Nash (Munster), R Henshaw (Leinster), B Aki (Connacht), J Lowe (Leinster); J Crowley (Munster), J Gibson-Park (Leinster); A Porter (Leinster), D Sheehan (Leinster), T Furlong (Leinster), J McCarthy (Leinster), T Beirne (Munster), P O’Mahony (Munster, capt), J van der Flier (Leinster), C Doris (Leinster).

Replacements: R Kelleher (Leinster), C Healy (Leinster), F Bealham (Connacht), J Ryan (Leinster), R Baird (Leinster), J Conan (Leinster), C Murray (Munster), C Frawley (Leinster).

Ireland Six Nations squad

Peter O’Mahony was named Ireland’s new captain by head coach Andy Farrell following the retirement of Johnny Sexton.

France Six Nations squad

With Antoine Dupont not playing for France due to his commitment to France’s Sevens team at the Olympics, Gregory Alldritt captains Les Bleus.

What was the score last year?

Ireland won last year’s meeting between these two sides 32-19 in Dublin en route to a Grand Slam.

What are the best odds?

France: 8/15

Ireland 17/10

Draw 25/1

Odds correct on February 1

Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph free for 3 months with unlimited access to our award-winning website, exclusive app, money-saving offers and more.


Recommended For You

About the Author: soccernews