Six Nations: France vs England Preview

Players attempt to score a try

France will be looking to add to England's recent woes when they host them at the Stade de France on Saturday 10 March.

Despite the fact that England’s Grand Slam aspirations are now dead in the water, Eddie Jones’ charges still have a shot at prying the Six Nations title away from front-runners Ireland in the next two weeks. 

Any kind of Irish slip-up this weekend, coupled with an England win at the Stade de France, will see the world’s number second and third-ranked sides fight it out in what is expected to be an absolute humdinger of a title-decider in Dublin next week.

France v England
10 March 18h45
Stade de France

To Win (80 Mins)
France 22/10
Draw 25/1
England 7/20

While some would argue that France would have enjoyed England and Ireland being the focal points of the weekend - and hence thrived under the tag of “underdogs” - their results in this season’s competition beg to differ. Their only win to date came against an equally inept Italian side a fortnight ago in a campaign that, despite expectations of Le Bleu riding at an all-time low, has still managed to somehow disappoint.

While some aspects of Jacques Brunel’s early reign have been encouraging – not least their proposed but not-quite-there-yet offloading game – others have left a lot to be desired. Still, though, this weekend’s fixture is just the fourth under Brunel, so perhaps he does require more time to set things in motion. Saturday’s clash will offer Brunel and co, their best shot yet at making a big statement to the rugby world by claiming what would be an almighty win over the English.

The back-to-back defending champions will be fuming at their surprise loss to the Scots two weeks ago. Indeed, England struggled to meet the intensity shown by their Celtic opponents and their lack of imagination would be telling in their eventual 25-13 defeat. Plenty would have been said by the elder statesmen of the side about that game (not least old Jonesy himself) in what was just their second loss in 26-matches. You can bet your bottom dollar – or pound if you’re feeling frisky enough - that they would have strategized themselves silly in the lead-up to their final two matchups, and will be ready for the challenges ahead.

France vs England – or ‘Le Crunch’ as it has come to be known – since the first encounter between the sides in 1906, taken place 103-times. England lead the way with 57-victories to 39, and will be confident of upping that number this weekend. The men from the UK have lost just 26 of the 51-games played between the two in France itself and, considering the battering their forwards took against Scotland, should seal a win on Saturday with a vengeful display up front.

Verdict: England 7/20
The Englishmen are a class outfit and won’t slip-up in two-successive rounds. Theirs is a side that knows how to bounce back from defeat and should come away from the Stade de France with a win of between seven and 10-points.

Written by Shaun Goosen for

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