Sunday 5 February 2023 Dublin: 7°C
©INPHO/Billy Stickland Covers on the pitch at the Stade de France (file photo).
# Brrrrr!
Stade de France pitch inspection planned for 6.15pm
Don’t worry, that’s not snow on the pitch – it’s only the covers.

TONIGHT’S SIX NATIONS match between Ireland and France in Paris will not get a definitive green light until less than two hours before kick-off.

Match referee Dave Pearson is due to carry out one final inspection when the covers come off the Stade de France pitch at 6.15pm GMT, with freezing weather in the north of France threatening to force the game’s abandonment.

Both the IRFU and the French Rugby Federation (FFR) are said to be confident that the match will go ahead, despite forecasts of temperatures as low as -7°C by the time the game kicks off at 9pm local time (8pm GMT).

This morning, a spokesperson for the Six Nations told the Daily Mail that the match was not under threat at this point.

Covers have been laid to protect the Stade de France pitch, which has no undersoil heating, with air blowers used to bring the ground temperature up to 3°C.

Pearson deemed the pitch fit to play at a preliminary inspection yesterday afternoon.

Open thread: how do you think Ireland will do in Paris tonight?

Memory lane: five classic clashes with the French

Exclusive Six
Nations Analysis

Get Murray Kinsella’s exclusive analysis of Ireland’s Six Nations campaign this spring

Become a Member