Central defender Richard Dunne is in defiant mood ahead of Ireland’s crunch clash against France in the World Cup Playoff this Saturday in Croke Park. 

Though the illustrious visitors will enter GAA headquarters the more fancied of the two sides to head to South Africa, Dunne knows his team are a handful.

"We are a tough team to be beat and that's down to our team spirit and attitude. There's no doubt France will be favorites and if they underestimate us - well fine,” said the Aston Villa Defender.

"But if they come thinking they'll be allowed to just pass the ball around the pitch and walk their way to South Africa, we'll have to show them that, if all they know about us is our fighting spirit, we've got to come out fighting."

The 30-year-old is looking for the Irish fans to be the first to strike fear into French hearts.

 "It all comes down to the atmosphere on Saturday. I can imagine the whole city will be buzzing from early in the day, building up to the game and once it's kicks-off, if we've got all those fans screaming us on, it will be a really good night."

Dunne went on to say that what the Irish lads lack in inspiration, they will make up with in perspiration.

"France have all the flair and they've got players throughout the team that can skip past players. So if someone gets beaten, someone else has to cover. If we all have to come off the pitch crawling because we're that tired, that's got to be way."

Dunne will be hoping to add to his goal tally over the two legs after scoring against Bulgaria at home and away during this campaign.

"It does help with the quality of set-pieces coming in from Stephen Hunt, Damien Duff or whoever,” continued the big man from Tallaght.

 "Nine times out of 10, it's in the right area. Myself and Sean (St Ledger) have scored some couple goals this season, and John (O'Shea) is good in the air, so we've got a few people who can go head the ball. Hopefully, that will be our main strength on the night."