SOMETHING BLEU: Paul Willemse

Six Nations rugby kicks off tonight in Paris where France will play host to Wales.

South African-born lock and former Junior Springbok Paul Willemse is set to make his international debut for the French in the 10 pm encounter.

The match, though, is not the biggest encounter in the opening weekend of the northern hemisphere competition.

That honour is reserved for the clash between defending champions Ireland and coach Eddie Jones’s England.

The Aviva Stadium in Dublin will be the setting for this mouthwatering clash at 6.45pm on Saturday.

Having finished fifth in last year’s tournament, England will be out to restore some lost pride.

And Jones believes if they want to cause what will be an upset against Joe Schmidt’s men, they have to beat them at the breakdown.

The Australia-born coach explains: “I think it is quite clear to beat Ireland you have to beat them in the contest area.

“They are very good at the breakdown and in the air. Both those areas are a priority for us.

“Traditionally, England and Ireland games are always very close, tough affairs.

“There is a lot of emotion in the games so our ability to finish the game strongly is going to be vital.”

Scotland host Italy at Murrayfield at 4.15pm on Saturday in the other match.

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