Knowing what Antoine Dupont can do and stopping him doing it are two different things entirely.
Ireland’s Guinness Six Nations defeat to France in the autumn serves a recent reminder of the scrum-half’s qualities. 
Needing to win by six or more points to win the title, Ireland never got a handle on the Toulouse number 9 and he scored the opening try and set up another as France ran out 35-27 winners in Paris.
He’s hot off leading France to a 50-10 win over Italy last Saturday, scoring one try and setting up four more.
Getting to grips with the 2020 player of the championship will be key to Ireland’s hopes in the Aviva on Sunday (3pm).
“When you’ve got a nine like Dupont, if you can present the opposition gaining that quick ball, prevent the offloads, take away their options to attack where they want to attack, speed of ball, then someone like Dupont becomes less effective,” said Simon Easterby, the Ireland defence coach whose job it is to blunt the French attack. 
“At times we did have an impact [last October]. At times we probably fed them a little bit too much. Eventually they took advantage of some of our defensive errors.
“Dupont is world class, he makes France tick.
“They’ve also got a number of very good players in their ranks as well so we have to have a real focus on what we can prevent him from doing but it’s a team thing that allows us to negate France’s threat.
“If we focus on him only, he can clearly offer space for other players to strike off him.
“It’s a combination of things that doesn’t allow him to get the clear run that he did in other games that we played against him.” 
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On the challenge presented by a team like France, the former Ireland flanker said: “It’s looks like they are encouraged to offload and part of that is winning collisions and because they have good footwork in the line, guys with serious pace, forwards that can carry into tight space but are able to win collision and offload. 
“It does make it a challenge but, in another sense, the guys get really excited about it.
“In some ways there’s a little bit of predictability about it because we know it’s going to come.
“What we have to do to counter that is to be really good ourselves. Making sure we don’t offer soft opportunities that we did at the weekend.
“We conceded 11 penalties [against Wales], five of them were definitely avoidable and those are the access points that teams like France need no second invitations and can do damage off the back of that.”
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Follow Ireland v France (kick-off 3pm) on Sunday via our live blog on RTE.ie and the RTÉ News app or listen live on RTÉ Radio 1’s Sunday Sport. Highlights on Against the Head, Monday at 8pm on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player.