Keith Earls won't let one poor performance affect his game and says he is excited about Ireland’s "opportunity" against France. 

The Munster wing will earn his 90th cap on Sunday, having retained the left-wing berth after the opening-round defeat to Wales.

High-profile errors by Peter O’Mahony and Billy Burns dominated the headlines but it was also a bad day at the office for the 33-year-old, who made a number of uncharacteristic mistakes in the 21-16 loss.

"The penalty [for a challenge in the air] was probably the most stupid penalty I have given away in my career," Earls told RTÉ Sport.

"I don’t give away too many penalties and you can’t have the perfect game every time you play.

"The dropped ball is an easy fix that just got away from me.

"The kick out on the full was a miscommunication between us and the touchjudges.

"I’ve accepted that I’ve made mistakes. Mistakes are going to happen.

"I’ve been quite happy and quite consistent with my performances over the last four or five years and a dropped ball and a penalty and a miskick doesn’t make me a bad player. 

"Thankfully, with my experience, I’m able to deal with that easily." 

Injuries to Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray and James Ryan means that Ireland face France down 228 caps worth of experience, with all three certain starters when fit.

O’Mahony, too, is a former Lions skipper and his suspension robs Ireland of 75 international caps for the Aviva clash against the tournament favourites.

"I suppose we have been there before [with injury and suspension] in the World Cup in 2015," said Earls, who has 32 international tries to his name.

"With the squad Andy [Farrell] has built there is a lot of young lads in there. His hand was forced and he has to give a lot of young lads the opportunity.

"It is the Six Nations, a massive competition, but it is a great chance for other fellas to become leaders as well and put their hands up for the future. This squad is building for the future." 

On the extra pressure now on the more experienced players, Earls said: "I know a lot of the lads have been captains and vice-captains.

"There are leaders all over the pitch; some fellas lead by actions, some lads like to speak. There is no lack of leadership. 

"Iain [Henderson] comes in to captain the squad and he has done an unbelievable job with Ulster. He is an intelligent captain.

"He is constantly thinking and we’re not one bit worried. We knew it was going to be a massive test and it’s a sink or swim now for a lot of fellas and that is the challenge." 

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