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Page last updated at 14:01 GMT, Friday, 12 February 2010

France's Morgan Parra says Irish 'cheat every weekend'

Venue: Stade de France Date: Saturday, 13 February Kick-off: 1630 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC HD channel, Red Button and online; Commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and BBC Radio Ulster MW; Live text commentary and score updates on BBC Sport website

France scrum-half Morgan Parra
Morgan Parra is not an admirer of the Irish team's playing style

Scrum-half Morgan Parra has become the latest France player to hit out at Grand Slam champions Ireland in advance of Saturday's Six Nations clash.

Lionel Nallet cast doubts on Ireland's credentials earlier this week and Parra claimed that Declan Kidney's side "cheat every weekend".

"They have a great defence. (They're) cheating, but intelligently cheating. It's very well done," said Parra.

"If we did the same thing, we would be punished each time."

Parra added that he while he respected the Irish team, he had "little admiration" for last year's Six Nations champions.

The 2009 Grand Slam winners are undefeated in their past 12 matches but Parra is convinced that run will be brought to an end on Saturday.

"The Irish have a great team, with a Munster spine, but I am not impressed. We can be (impressed) by certain players but not in general by their team," he added.

We dissected the video very well. There's not a moment when they're not cheating.

France scrum-half Morgan Parra

"How many matches have they gone without defeat, 12, 13? Well fine, that will finish at 12 this Saturday."

Ireland have the added motivation of revenge as the country is still smarting at the way the Republic of Ireland football team was defeated by France in the World Cup play-offs following Thierry Henry's infamous handball.

Ireland back Keith Earls said recently they would not hesitate to cheat on Saturday but Parra hit back by claiming that the Irish do so all the time.

"That won't be a surprise," said Parra. "They have experienced players who can do so.

"We dissected the video very well. There's not a moment when they're not cheating.


"They're the least penalised team in the tournament, which is very impressive."

On Thursday, lock Nallet dubbed the Irish as "effective" but was far from gushing in his description of Declan Kidney's side.

"Their game does not make me jump," said Nallet.

"They are a European reference since they last won the tournament. But we're here, too. I do not see them as the best in the world."

Nallet acknowledged that he is expecting a sterner test than that produced by Scotland last weekend as the French clinched a comprehensive 18-9 win at Murrayfield.

"It will be a big fight to deliver face as we face stronger opponents than the Scots, especially up front," he added.

Should Ireland prevail against the Six Nations favourites at the Stade de France, it will be only their third successful visit to the French capital since 1952.

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see also
France 33-10 Ireland
13 Feb 10 |  Rugby Union
Ferris fitness boost for Ireland
11 Feb 10 |  Irish
Clerc & Palisson win France calls
10 Feb 10 |  Rugby Union
Earls handed start against France
09 Feb 10 |  Irish
Scotland 9-18 France
07 Feb 10 |  Rugby Union
O'Driscoll frustrated after win
06 Feb 10 |  Irish
Ireland 29-11 Italy
06 Feb 10 |  Rugby Union

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