Republic of Ireland: 'We have quality to hurt France' - Nathan Collins

Nathan Collins in action against France
Nathan Collins (right) in action during the Republic of Ireland's 1-0 defeat by France in Dublin in March

Nathan Collins insists the Republic of Ireland are ready to rise to the challenge of facing France in Paris.

Stephen Kenny's side head to the Parc des Princes for Thursday's Euro 2024 qualifier looking to even things up after a 1-0 defeat in Dublin in March.

World Cup finalists France sit top of Group B with a perfect record from their opening four games.

"I honestly feel we have the quality in the squad to go and hurt them and get something from the game," said Collins.

France's results in qualifying so far include a 4-0 hammering of the Netherlands, but Brentford centre-back Collins feels the Republic can give France plenty to think about as they look to get a positive result to take into a showdown against the Dutch at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday.

"Everybody knows how tough France are, but as I've said before the manager and staff give us so much confidence that we are ready to go to war with them," said Collins, who joined the Bees from Wolves during the summer.

"We caused France so many problems at home and we were defensively really good.

"Maybe in the first 30 minutes we get a goal and put them on the back foot."

The Irish sit third in the group, having lost away to Greece in June, and will be hoping Brighton teenager Evan Ferguson can take his club form into the international game after his hat-trick sank Newcastle in the Premier League on Saturday.

"It's rare that you get more than three chances in a game as a striker, especially in the Premier League, so to take his three chances, he has done unbelievably well there," Collins said of the 18-year-old.

"All credit to him, he deserves it - let's hope he can do it for us against France."