EPCR Player of the Year nominee Garry Ringrose scored Ireland’s fourth and crucial try as they defeated defending champions France 32-19 in a classic Six Nations Championship clash in Dublin.

All of Ireland’s points came through players from Heineken Champions Cup Pool A winners Leinster Rugby in a bonus-point win, with a trio of first-half tries from full-back Hugo Keenan, wing James Lowe and prop Andrew Porter sending the Irish in 22-16 up at half-time.

After a thrilling first half, the second 40 saw the two teams full of leading Heineken Champions Cup players battling for every metre, with the key moment coming when centre Ringrose powered over in the 71st minute.

Leinster fly-half Johnny Sexton converted two tries and kicked a penalty in the first half, before being replaced by clubmate Ross Byrne, who improved Ringrose’s try and landed a penalty after the break.

The Aviva Stadium, which will host the Heineken Champions Cup Final on May 20, played witness to an epic battle, in which many players shone, including another EPOTY nominee in Leinster No.8 Caelan Doris, who was named player of the match.

He, alongside many of his national teammates, is set to play in Leinster’s Heineken Champions Cup Round of 16 tie against fellow Irish province Ulster Rugby at the same venue on April 1.

France played their part, with their one try coming from ASM Clermont Auvergne wing Damian Penaud, but the champions, led by EPOTY nominee Antoine Dupont, eventually fell short, despite 14 points from the boot of Stade Toulousain full-back Thomas Ramos.