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6 Nations

France Win Incredible Encounter Against Wales

France have kept their Grand Slam dreams alive with another impressive win, this time against current title holders Wales

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(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

France have come out 27-23 winners in a Six Nations classic against Wales at the Principality Stadium this evening to keep their Grand Slam hopes alive.

In what was an end to end game the visitors managed to sneak past their hosts despite spending a quarter of the game with a man less in what was a remarkable performance. 

It was Wales who made a more positive start to the game and were rewarded early on as fly-half Dan Biggar smashed over a penalty from 35-metres out to put the hosts in front. 

However, France came roaring back and within a couple of minutes they went over for the opening try of the game as Leigh Halfpenny failed to cope with a kick from Romain Ntamack, which French full-back Anthony Bouthier gathered up the ball and raced under the posts. Ntamack knocked the conversion through the posts to hand the away side the lead. 

The fly-half put further distance between the two sides on 18 minutes as he sent a lovely penalty kick between the uprights to put Les Bleus 10-3 up. 

With 26 minutes on the clock Biggar cut into the visitors lead as he slotted a simple penalty over to make it 10-6. 

France once again came back after Wales scored and struck for their second try just before the half-hour mark as they took down a line-out inside the Welsh 22 before lock Paul Willemse peeled off the maul and burst through two tacklers to touch-down in the left corner. Ntamack thumped the extras over once more to stretch the lead out to 17-6. 

Four minutes later and Wales looked as though they were going to get in for a five-pointer themselves, but had to settle for another three-points from the boot of Biggar, who kicked another penalty. 

With a minute left in the half France were reduced to 14-men as No 8 Gregory Alldritt was shown a yellow-card after the French conceded a number of penalties in quick succession. 

Wales pounded away at the opposition for over five minutes after the clock had gone into the red zone, but they couldn’t take advantage as they eventually knocked-on meaning the score was 17-9 heading in at half-time, with the French showing some serious determination to keep Wales at bay at the end of the half.

France managed to cope for the remainder of the sin-binning without conceding any scores but within a couple of minutes of returning to their full compliment Wales got their try as Dillon Lewis latched onto a loose ball beside the French line and powered over beside the posts. Biggar had the simple job of tipping over the conversion to make it a one-point game at 17-16 to France. 

The away side put themselves further in front with just under 30 minutes left on the clock as Ntamack intercepted a pass down Wales’ left as they looked to attack and he charged down the field to put the ball down for the try. He converted his own score to put France 24-17 ahead. 

France extended their lead on 64 minutes as Ntamack blasted a long-range penalty over to leave the score at 27-16 to the visitors heading into the final quarter of an hour. 

The away team were reduced to 14-men for the second time in the game as Mohamed Haouas was shown yellow after Wales won several penalties at scrum-time. However, there was a huge momentum swing at the next scrum as Damba Bamba came in and helped his side win a scrum against the head on their own five-metre line despite having centre Gael Fickou at No 8. 

Wales set up a grandstand finish with five minutes left however, as they broke into the French 22 again and this time they weren’t to be stopped as Biggar crashed over the line from close-range. Following a TMO review the try was awarded and he like Ntamack converted his own try to put them within touching distance of a result with the score at 27-23. 

Despite Wales throwing their all at the French over the final minutes they couldn’t find a way through meaning France claimed a first win on Welsh soil since 2010. 

Next up for Wales is another tough test as they head to Twickenham to face England, while France will look to keep their Grand Slam hopes alive when they take on Scotland at Murrayfield.

Player Ratings

Starting XV: 

Leigh Halfpenny (6), George North (4), Nick Tompkins (8), Hadleigh Parkes (6), Josh Adams (6), Dan Biggar (8), Gareth Davies (6); Wyn Jones (6), Ken Owens (7), Dillon Lewis (7), Jake Ball (6), Alun Wyn Jones (7), Ross Moriarty (7), Justin Tipuric (6), Taulupe Faletau (6)

Replacements (7)

6 Nations

Ireland Host One Day Camp at IRFU HPC

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Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Andy Farrell and his coaching team have assembled a group of 50 players for a one day camp at the IRFU’s High Performance Centre at the Sport Ireland Campus in Dublin.

The Ireland men’s squad have an action packed 12 months ahead with games against  Japan, New Zealand and Argentina at the Aviva Stadium in the Autumn Nations Series in November.

In February and March there are tricky away games against England and France in the 2022 Six Nations Championships while Ireland host Wales, Italy and Scotland at the Aviva Stadium.

In July 2022 the team are also due to play a three Test tour against the All Blacks in New Zealand.

Robert Baloucoune scores a try against the USA in the Vodafone Summer Series at the Aviva Stadium

During the summer Ireland recorded victories over Japan (39-31) and the USA (71-10) while capping nine new players – Robert Baloucoune, Caolin Blade, Paul Boyle, Harry Byrne, Gavin Coombes, James Hume, Tom O’Toole, Nick Timoney and Fineen Wycherley

Also during this period Jack Conan, Tadgh Furlong and Robbie Henshaw started all three Tests for the British and Irish Lions against South Africa while Conor Murray featured in all three games starting the second Test.  Tadhg Beirne was a replacement in the first two Tests and Bundee Aki started the series decider.

Ireland’s Autumn Nations Series games at the Aviva Stadium will be televised on RTE (ROI) and Channel 4 (NI).  The IRFU will finalise stadium capacity for these games following direction from government in October.

Backs (23)
Will Addison (Ulster/Enniskillen) 5 caps
Bundee Aki (Connacht/Galwegians) 31 caps
Robert Baloucoune (Ulster/Enniskillen) 1 cap
Caolin Blade (Connacht/Galwegians) 1 cap
Billy Burns (Ulster) 7 caps
Harry Byrne (Leinster/Lansdowne) 1 cap
Joey Carbery (Munster/Clontarf) 24 caps
Craig Casey (Munster/Shannon) 3 caps
Andrew Conway (Munster/Garryowen) 25 caps
Shane Daly (Munster/Cork Constitution) 2 caps
Keith Earls (Munster/Young Munster) 93 caps
Chris Farrell (Munster/Young Munster) 15 caps
Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster) 10 caps
Robbie Henshaw (Leinster/Buccaneers) 52 caps
James Hume (Ulster/Banbridge) 1 cap
Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD) 13 caps
Jordan Larmour (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 30 caps
James Lowe (Leinster) 6 caps
Stuart McCloskey (Ulster/Bangor) 5 caps
Conor Murray (Munster/Garryowen) 89 caps
Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD) 34 caps
Johnny Sexton (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 99 caps
Jacob Stockdale (Ulster/Lurgan) 35 caps

Forwards (27)
Ryan Baird (Leinster/Dublin University) 5 caps
Finlay Bealham (Connacht/Buccaneers) 16 caps
Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne) 22 caps
Paul Boyle (Connacht/Buccaneers) 1 cap
Ed Byrne (Leinster/UCD) 6 caps
Jack Conan (Leinster/Old Belvedere) 20 caps
Will Connors (Leinster/UCD) 9 caps
Gavin Coombes (Munster/Young Munster) 2 caps
Ultan Dillane (Connacht/Corinthians) 19 caps
Caelan Doris (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 9 caps
Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf) 49 caps
Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf) 109 caps
Dave Heffernan (Connacht/Buccaneers) 6 caps
Iain Henderson (Ulster/Academy) 63 caps
Rob Herring (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 22 caps
Ronan Kelleher (Leinster/Lansdowne) 13 caps
Dave Kilcoyne (Munster/UL Bohemians) 45 caps
Peter O’Mahony (Munster/Cork Constitution) 76 caps
Eric O’Sullivan (Ulster/ Banbridge) 1 cap
Tom O’Toole (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 1 cap
Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD) 37 caps
Rhys Ruddock (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 27 caps
James Ryan (Leinster/UCD) 37 caps
John Ryan (Munster/Cork Constitution) 24 caps
Nick Timoney (Ulster/Banbridge) 1 cap
Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD) 32 caps
Fineen Wycherley (Munster/Young Munster) 1 cap

Autumn Nations Series

IRELAND v Japan
Aviva Stadium, Saturday 6th November, 2021

IRELAND v New Zealand
Aviva Stadium, Saturday 13th November, 2021

IRELAND v Argentina
Aviva Stadium, Sunday 21st November, 2021

2022 Guinness Six Nations Championship

IRELAND v Wales
Aviva Stadium, Saturday 5th February, 2022

France v IRELAND
Stade de France, Saturday 12th February, 2022

IRELAND v Italy
Aviva Stadium, Sunday 27th February, 2022

England v IRELAND
Twickenham Stadium, Saturday 12th March, 2022

IRELAND v Scotland
Aviva Stadium, Saturday 19th March, 2022

2022 Summer Tour

New Zealand v IRELAND
TBC

New Zealand v IRELAND
TBC

New Zealand v IRELAND
TBC

Source –  Irish Rugby

** EXCLUSIVE DAVID LLOYD OFFER FOR ULSTER RUGBY FANS **

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6 Nations

TG4 And RTÉ Partner To Show Over 150 Hours Of URC Coverage

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Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan
As the brand new United Rugby Championship was officially launched yesterday, RTÉ and TG4 have confirmed that together they will deliver over 150 hours of URC action to Irish audiences free-to-air.

RTÉ and TG4‘s live free-to-air coverage of the new United Rugby Championship begins with Connacht live on TG4 on Friday, September 24, followed by an action-packed Saturday (September 25) as Leinster are live on TG4, and Munster live on RTÉ.

RTÉ will broadcast live television, radio and online coverage of 26 games featuring the provinces in the league, plus additional knockout matches. There will also be extensive highlights and analysis each week on Against the Head on RTÉ 2 and the RTÉ Player.

TG4’s Rugbaí Beo will continue to be the station’s flagship rugby programme and will broadcast 26 games involving the Irish teams, and an additional 16 games featuring international club sides.

Spórt TG4 will also have exclusive behind-the-scenes action from the competition across its social media channels.

The United Rugby Championship final will also be delivered free-to-air with RTÉ and TG4 broadcasting it live on alternate years.

The RTÉ/TG4 joint broadcast output contract has been awarded to Iris Productions. The Galway-based production company spearheaded many innovations in their previous rugby coverage on TG4, including behind-the-scenes referee briefings and audio-snoops on coaches and players. NEP Ireland will provide OB facilities.

Rónán O Coisdealbha, TG4’s Head of Sport, commented: “TG4 has been bringing interprovincial rugby to Irish audiences since the first days of the Celtic League in 2001, and we are looking forward to taking this next step with the URC and to see the South Africa ‘Super’ teams become part of our Rugbaí Beo line-up.

“This partnership with RTÉ galvanises TG4’s commitment to provide the best of sporting action to our audiences, and to making that coverage free-to-air and accessible to all fans.”

RTÉ’s Group Head of Sport, Declan McBennett, said: “Being in a position to provide free-to-air coverage of the provinces to our audience in the newly reconstituted URC allows us to ensure our best rugby players are seen, and seen to inspire future generations who want to one day wear their provincial and national jersey.”

Martin Anayi, the United Rugby Championship’s CEO, added: “The widespread return of URC and the provinces to free-to-air television in Ireland is a real cause for excitement.

“We can’t wait for that energy to be unleashed on the opening weekend with some cracking games on RTÉ and TG4 involving Leinster and Munster against two of South Africa’s heavyweights in the Vodacom Bulls and the Cell C Sharks.

“We have talked about the potential of our new partnership with RTÉ and TG4 and now we get to see if come to life in a week’s time.”

TG4’s Rugbaí Beo

TG4’s Rugbai Beo, led by presenter Máire Treasa Ní Dhubhghaill, will feature expert analysis from Eimear Consideine, Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird, Niamh Ní Dhroma, Marcus Horan, Ronan Loughney, Eoghan Ó Neachtain and Eamonn Molloy along with a host of others.

Match commentary will be provided by Garry Mac Donncha, Gemma Ní Choinnaith will take over presenting duties from Máire Treasa while she is on maternity leave later in the year.

URC coverage will get underway on TG4 with a bumper weekend of action. On Friday, September 24,,Connacht travel to Wales to take on Cardiff Rugby (kick-off 7.35pm, TG4 & TG4 Player).

On Saturday, September 25, Leinster take on the Vodacom Bulls at the Aviva Stadium (kick-off 5.15pm, TG4 & TG4 Player).

RTÉ URC Live

RTÉ’s URC Live will be presented by Jacqui Hurley and Daire O’Brien with a top-class line-up of panellists.

RTÉ’s URC Live kicks off on Saturday, September 25 on RTÉ 2 and RTÉ Player with Jacqui Hurley live from Thomond Park as Munster begin their campaign against the Cell C Sharks. Donal Lenihan will be alongside Hugh Cahill on commentary.

RTÉ Radio 1 and RTÉ 2fm will have full live commentary on the key games involving the provinces as well as reports, analysis, and interviews throughout the season.

Images & Content from Irish Rugby & Images © Inpho Photography

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6 Nations

Philip Browne To Retire As Chief Executive Of IRFU

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Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images
Philip Browne, in conjunction with the Management Committee of the Irish Rugby Football Union, has announced that he is to retire as Chief Executive of the Irish Rugby Football Union, as and from December 31, 2021.

Philip joined the IRFU in July 1992 and assumed the role of Chief Executive in 1998.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Philip said: “It has long been my intention to retire from the role of Chief Executive to coincide with reaching the age of 60. I delayed my decision, given the recent extraordinary pressures on Irish rugby, as a result of the Covid pandemic.

“I now believe we are at a point where it is possible to commence plotting a sustainable route out of the pandemic and engage in a structured approach to future longer-term planning, hence the announcement of my decision at this time.

It has been a privilege to serve as Chief Executive and while undoubtedly it has been a pressurised and challenging role it has, in equal measure, been a truly exciting and rewarding career.

“I would like to thank the various Union committees with whom I have worked and the staff of the Union for their unwavering support as, together, we oversaw the constant changes required to ensure the Union remained relevant to its constituents and the world game.

“I intend, in time, to reflect on possible future part-time commitments but, as of now, have no definite plans.”

Des Kavanagh, President of the Irish Rugby Football Union, expressed his appreciation, stating: “Philip Browne has been an exemplary Chief Executive of the IRFU over a period of enormous change within rugby and broader society.

His calm demeanour and wise counsel have been critical in charting an effective course for our game throughout his tenure.

“In recognising his outstanding career, I, on behalf of the IRFU Committee, all his colleagues and the wider rugby family, express our sincere thanks to him.”

Declan Madden, Chairman of the IRFU Management Committee, commented: “Irish Rugby has been extremely fortunate to have had at its helm for such a significant time a person of Philip Browne’s calibre.

His vision, integrity and commitment have made him one of the standout figures, not just in Irish sporting and business circles, but also in World Rugby over that time.

“His contribution to Irish Rugby has, quite simply, been immeasurable. Never one to seek the limelight, he has been the constant in overseeing unprecedented playing and commercial success for Irish rugby over three decades.

“We are truly grateful to Philip and wish him every good fortune as he moves on with his life.”

The IRFU has commenced a detailed search for a replacement Chief Executive and has appointed the international recruitment consultancy, Korn Ferry, to assist them with the process.

In the meantime, Kevin Potts, Chief Operating Officer, will assume the role of Interim Chief Executive on Mr. Browne’s departure.

Source- Irish Rugby

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