European Championship: Ireland 22-12 France

Shannon McDonnell
Shannon McDonnell's 2014 domestic season was curtailed by a fractured jaw while playing for St Helens

Ireland made a superb start to the European Championship with a 22-12 win over favourites France in Dublin.

Tries from Shannon McDonnell and Haydn Peacock gave the hosts an 8-0 lead at the break at the Tallaght Stadium.

McDonnell and Peacock added further tries before the French hit back with converted tries from Kevin Larroyer and Eloi Pellissier.

Ireland made sure of their first win for two years thanks to a last-minute try by Jobe Murphy.

European Championship 2014
Friday, 17 October:Scotland 42-18 Wales
Saturday, 18 October:Ireland v France (14:00 BST) at Tallaght Stadium, Dublin
Saturday, 25 October:Ireland v Scotland (14:00 BST) at Tallaght Stadium, Dublin
Saturday, 25 October:France v Wales (15:00 BST) at Albi Stadium, Albi
Friday, 31 October:Scotland v France (19:30 BST) at Netherdale, Galashiels
Sunday 2, November:Wales v Ireland (14:30 BST) at Racecourse Ground, Wrexham

Former Hull and Hull KR full-back McDonnell, who missed both the 2008 and 2013 World Cups through injury, was making his Ireland debut.

The Irish now take on Scotland, fresh from their own win over Wales on Friday night, at Tallaght Stadium next Saturday.

The winners of the tournament qualify for the 2016 Four Nations, alongside Australia, New Zealand and England.

If Wales or Ireland take the European title it will also secure their place at the 2017 World Cup.

England, France and Scotland have already qualified for the tournament, which will be held in Australia and New Zealand.