Irish winger James Lowe is set to take on a ‘world class’ French team in Dublin

Ireland wing James Lowe prepares for a ‘French beast of a difference’ when Fabien Galthie’s ‘world class’ team visits Dublin for a delightful Guinness Six Nations showdown.

While the Irish started the championship with a resounding 34-10 win in Wales, reigning Grand Slam champions France started less convincingly with a faltering 29-24 win in Italy.

Saturday’s decisive clash at the Aviva Stadium is already being heralded as the title decider, as the two best teams in the world collide.

Lowe, who scored an excellent breakaway try in Cardiff, will be hoping to help an in-form Ireland post a record 13 successive home wins and is convinced that Les Bleus will be much better than their disappointing display in Rome.

“I know they would be disappointed with their performance against Italy, and thanks to Italy, they got on physically,” the Leinster player said.

“That first half was very messy, I think both sides would say that, and then the second half was a proper test match.

“But we know it’s a different French beast (this week), the France we know will turn up and we’re preparing for that and we can’t wait for the opportunity to test ourselves against the team that won the Grand Slam. last year.

France, led by Antoine Dupont, is the current Grand Slam champion

France, led by Antoine Dupont, is the current Grand Slam champion (Adam Davy/PA)

“They are a world-class team, they have shown that for a good couple of years. Their nine-10 combination (Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamack) is pretty scary, their full-backs are world-class, a midfield that is very dangerous and a defense of three that would leave most teams in shambles.

“Individually, they have pretty good firepower, so I hope they don’t mix it all up. It’s a whole new beast right around the corner.”

Ireland ran out of the blocks at the Principality Stadium to underscore their status as the highest ranked team in the world.

Caelan Doris, James Ryan and Lowe crossed in the first 20 minutes, before Josh van der Flier’s goal fatally broke the Welsh resistance.

Ireland's James Lowe scored an excellent breakaway try against Wales

Ireland’s James Lowe scored an excellent breakaway try against Wales (Nigel French/PA)

France, who are the only visiting team to win in Dublin during head coach Andy Farrell’s tenure, were far less convincing than expected the next day at the Stadio Olimpico, but still found a way to their 14th straight win.

Lowe insists it’s too early in the tournament to count the weekend’s titanic brawl as a Grand Slam decider, but believes Ireland have collectively improved since last year’s narrow 30-24 loss at the Stade de France.

“It’s the second game of a Six Nations, I don’t want to get too early,” said the 30-year-old.

And I’m sure they’ll say the same things. It’s the old cliché, one game at a time, and we’ll take it that way.

Andy Farrell is yet to beat France as Ireland coach

Andy Farrell is yet to beat France as Ireland head coach (Joe Giddens/PA)

“I didn’t know he (Farrell) hadn’t beaten France; I haven’t beaten France yet, so I wouldn’t mind trying that too.

“Last year away from home, we probably gave them too many easy points in the first half, we counterattacked in the second, but we weren’t quite there.

“I think we are a different team now compared to where we were 12 months ago and we are going to go out there and give it a good chance.

“The French are physicists, I think it would be silly to say that they are not bigger than us. We think we are fitter.”

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