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Irish chance to make amends.

Sat, Feb 11: France v Ireland, (ko 1.30pm)

IRELAND boss Eddie O'Sullivan hopes his misfiring players will respond to his vote of confidence by seizing the chance to redeem themselves against France on Saturday.

The Irish laboured to a 26-16 victory over Italy in their RBS 6 Nations opener at Lansdowne Road, forcing O'Sullivan to reconsider his options.

But he has resisted the urge to wield the axe, instead keeping faith with the same starting line-up and bench as Ireland seek to make amends for the Azzurri horror show.

"We had a look at the team and we could have forced a few changes if we'd wanted to but you'd be victimising individuals," he said.

"No-one did exceptionally well or exceptionably badly.

"In these situations you have to give guys confidence by saying go out there and prove it was a glitch.

O'Sullivan added: "We need to improve on last weekend when we get to Paris - in certain quarters in particular."

France from: N Brusque, A Rougerie, C Dominici, C Heymans, G Bousses, L Valbon, F Fritz, D Traille, B Boyet, F Michalak, D Yachvili, J-B Elissalde, S Marconnet, P De Villiers, O Milloud, D Szarzewski, S Bruno, R Ibanez, P Pape, J Thion, F Pelous, L Nallet, O Magne, S Betsen, Y Nyanga, J Bonnaire, R Martin, T Lievremont.

Ireland: G Murphy); S Horgan, B O'Driscoll, G D'Arcy, T Bowe; R O'Gara, P Stringer; M Horan, J Flannery, J Hayes, M O'Kelly, P O'Connell, S Easterby, D Wallace, D Leamy. Replacements: R Best, S Best, D O'Callaghan, J O'Connor, E Reddan, D Humphreys, A Trimble.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Feb 9, 2006
Words:267
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