By Jonathan Davies

A superb kicking display from a beaten and bruised Jonathan Sexton saw Ireland beat France 18-11 in Dublin to step-up a mouth watering clash against England in two weeks time.

After missing three months of rugby with concussion, Sexton returned to the Ireland side and expertly kicked all of Ireland's points as they went in 12-6 at half-time.

There were concerns for Sexton's welfare, however, after twice colliding heads with the mammoth French centre Mathieu Basteraud. But the Irish medics have stressed that the fly-half is absolutely "fine".

France's replacement second-row Romain Taofifenua scored the the only try in a game dominated by the battle at the breakdown. But two more penalties from Sexton's replacement Ian Madigan had secured the win for Ireland.

The win meant two wins from two for Ireland and sets-up a near championship deciding tie against England at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on 1 March.

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