David Wallace breaks down what Ireland need to do to get on top of France this week

Wallace was often on the receiving end of defeats to France

David Wallace breaks down what Ireland need to do to get on top of France this week

©INPHO/Billy Stickland

David Wallace never won an international game in France but feels the back row could be decisive in delivering victory for Ireland this weekend.

Speaking on Off The Ball this evening, the former Ireland flanker told Ger Gilroy:

''The back row is the one stand-out part of the team. To see CJ Stander, Sean O'Brien and Jamie Heaslip is going to be immense. We have to push the boat out this week because that's an area where we can get on top of the French. Sean might be lacking in fitness but they'll all be sharing the ball carrying duties.''

Wallace also lamented the absence of Tommy O'Donnell from the team for Ireland's second Six Nations game, while also cautioning that victory over France will not be achieved in the same way as it was in the Rugby World Cup.

''I know how hard it is to go to France and win. It's not going to be as easy as it was in the World Cup. There's going to be a lot of French support there. They played very loosely last weekend and had 19 turnovers. The back row will be crucial to put us on the right foot.''

Paul O'Connell announced his retirement from professional rugby this week and Wallace paid tribute to the Munster player by explaining the origins of the nickname ''psycho.''

''We knew him as 'Psyche.' When he came into Munster, he was like a wild stallion and it took him a short space of time to become a leader both internationally and provincially. He had a massive enthusiasm and his approach to everything was so determined. We all fed off that.''