Preview: England vs France on Saturday, February 23rd

14/02/2013 no comments »
Preview: England vs France on Saturday, February 23rd

A struggling France side will face England in a tough visit to Twickenham after the rest weekend on Saturday 23rd February in the third round match of the RBS Six Nations Rugby Union tournament.

France were one of the favourites going into the tournament (along with England) but have certainly not lived up to high expectations and they currently sit at the bottom of the Six Nations table, having lost both of their games in the competition so far. On Saturday, they were beaten in a nail-biting game against Wales at the Stade de France in a 6-16 defeat. Les Blues were undone with just eight minutes to go when George North caught up with a superb chipped ball by Dan Biggar and dived over the try-line, allowing Wales to grab their first win in nine games and their first of the tournament. Things continue to look bleak for France as they face a high-flying England side in their next match. England are leading the pack at the top of the table with two wins from two after securing a 12-6 victory in a tough game against Ireland. In a game with no tries, the boot ruled. Owen Farrell was on form kicking four penalties, whilst Ireland’s Ronan O’Gara scored two. England will definitely be looking to make it three out of three given France’s latest performances.

France coach Philippe Saint-André has decided to make five changes to the squad ahead of the game against England. Out go Maxime Mermoz, Damien Chouly, Fulgence Ouedraogo, Yannick Forestier and Romain Taofifénua whilst in come prop Thomas Domingo, lock Christophe Samson, flanker Yannick Nyanga, experienced wing Vincent Clerc, who has recently come back from injury, and the uncapped Castres flanker Antonie Claassen. The changes come after Saint-André revealed that he had been shocked and embarrassed by France’s performances against Italy and Wales. England are not expected to make changes, however, previously injured centre Manu Tuilagi could secure his place back in the starting fifteen after coming on against Ireland and playing well.

It will certainly be a great game between the two favourites and with France trying to secure their first win and gain a foothold back in the competition and with England wanting to make it three from three and further increase their chances of winning the Grand Slam, there is no disputing that this is not one to be missed!

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