Six Nations 2014: Ireland aware of attacking threat posed by France

Yoann Huget is tackled by Mike Ross
Yoann Huget is tackled by Mike Ross

Ireland assistant coach Les Kiss says France's variety of attacking options offer a major threat to Irish hopes of winning the Six Nations title in Paris.

An Ireland win of any description will secure Joe Schmidt's side the championship unless England manage to beat Italy by more than 50 points.

"There's a way they play that you have to be aware of - they're a dangerous team across the park," said Kiss.

"They allow their individuals to put themselves in dangerous situations."

Kiss believes Philippe Saint-Andre's Les Bleus play on time-honoured perceptions of a talented, but disparate rabble.

But he says the Ireland back-room staff's "forensic" examination of the French approach reveals a game plan designed to look shambolic, but that actually offers plenty attacking avenues for their marauding finishers.

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"There's a perception that they are in a dishevelled place of chaos," said Kiss.

"But when you look at it as forensically as we have, you can see an order to that chaos, you can see what they're trying to achieve.

"And when you've got a back three of Brice Dulin, Yoann Huget and Maxime Medard, with Hugo Bonneval coming off the bench, it's a dangerous mix and we have to be aware of that.

"They keep threats across the field. They move their forwards around and they have a group of four to five players who are very dangerous, the back three, the two halves, and then Mathieu Bastareaud as the odd guy so they can shift the point of attack at any given time.

"It's based around this axis they build into their game. It may look a bit left-of-centre, but there is a path you can understand."

Despite the detailed analysis, Kiss conceded Ireland must be ready for anything against the most resourceful side in the Six Nations.

"As much as you want to analyse them, they can find their way out of tight corners better than most teams," said Kiss.

"They don't rely on this structure I was talking about it in its own right: if it's not quite working for them, they have some individual brilliance to make things happen.

"You can't box them in - they always find another way. We need to be alive, more so than at any other time during this campaign, without a doubt."

Ireland prop Cian Healy trained fully on Tuesday to complete a quick recovery from ankle trouble.

The Leinster front-rower spent Saturday night in a compression boot, a move that accelerated his recovery enough to leave him ready for action against France.

Scrum-half Conor Murray also returned to full training after illness, while Peter O'Mahony is set to replace Iain Henderson after overcoming his hamstring injury.

Ireland have earned only one win in Paris in 42 years, which came in 2000 when Brian O'Driscoll's famous hat-trick of tries helped secure the victory.

O'Driscoll earned a world-record 140th cap in Saturday's victory over the Italians and will hope to round off his remarkable international career this weekend by helping his country land the championship.

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