Ireland shrug off Paris 'superstition'

Published Monday, 10 March 2014
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Ireland will be hoping to overcome "superstition" and break the Paris hoodoo as they face France in this weekend's crucial Six Nations clash.

Ireland shrug off Paris 'superstition'
Ireland rugby coach Joe Schmidt. (© Presseye)

A victory on Saturday would be just their second on French soil in 43 years - but it should be enough to see Joe Schmidt's side clinch a first Six Nations win since 2009.

"I'm not a big believer in superstition," the head coach said. "I don't think we can get too distracted by the history or by the results, or by the points differential.

"Regardless of what does happen we will be very much focused on trying to put in the best performance we can. To be honest we could go to Paris and finish third. But if we can win a Six Nations having gone away to England and France, that would be a bit special."

The last time Ireland won in Paris was in 2000, when Brian O'Driscoll announced himself to the world with a stunning hat-trick.

Now a world-record holder for test appearances, the 35-year-old will make his 141st and final international bow this weekend after bidding an emotional farewell in Dublin last Saturday, with a man-of-the match performance in a 46-7, seven try win over Italy.

Eoin Reddan said Ireland must claim the Six Nations title to pay homage to the iconic centre.

He added: "This win over Italy won't mean much if we don't back it up next week. We already spoke about that in the dressing room after the game. It was a great occasion, but the players have to pay their respects in terms of delivering in Paris for him.

"It was right to have it: these moments can pass you by if you don't emphasise them.

"Now we as players have to deliver, and give him a pat on the back in a different way, and produce a huge performance in France to give him a proper and well-deserved send-off.

"The temptations are there for people outside the group to go over the top on a polished performance, but there's no way we're seeing ourselves as favourites over there."

© UTV News
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