6 Nations: France 26, England 24


Six Nations 2014

France will be looking to put last year’s woes behind them when they take on England in their Six Nations opener in Paris on Saturday.

Coach Philippe Saint-Andre’s team endured a horror tournament last year in which they finished last, and only managed to notch two victories in total in 2013.

By contrast England only lost two matches last year – to Six Nations champions Wales and world champions New Zealand – and they have lost just one of their last seven Six Nations encounters with France.

England coach Stuart Lancaster has named the same pack that played against New Zealand in their last match last year, but the backline has a somewhat new look to it with wing Jack Nowell and outside centre Luther Burrell earning their first Test caps.

Saint-Andre named a backline debutant of his own in the form of flyhalf Jules Plisson, although the rest of the backline has a settled look to it.

However, with rain predicted for the Stade de France on Saturday this match is likely to come down to the performances of the respective forward packs.

France appear to have the edge in terms of experience in this area, with a number of seasoned campaigners up front, but the England pack have proven that they cannot be taken lightly and have the added benefit of continuity.

With both teams blooding new players there is an air of uncertainty hanging over the match, but no matter who is playing there is seldom very much to separate the sides so expect another hard-fought encounter.

Recent results:
2013: England won 23-13 in London
2012: England won 24-22 in Paris
2011: France won 19-12 in Auckland
2011: England won 17-9 in London
2010: France won 12-10 in Paris
2009: England won 34-10 in London
2008: England won 24-13 in Paris
2007: England won 14-9 in Paris
2007: France won 22-9 in Marseille

15 Brice Dulin, 14 Yoann Huget, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Maxime Medard, 10 Jules Plisson, 9 Jean-Marc Doussain, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Bernard Le Roux, 6 Yannick Nyanga, 5 Pascal Pape (captain), 4 Alexandre Flanquart, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Thomas Domingo.
Replacements: 16 Dimitri Szarzewski, 17 Yannick Forestier, 18 Rabah Slimani, 19 Yoann Maestri, 20 Antoine Burban, 21 Damien Chouly, 22 Maxime Machenaud, 23 Gael Fickou.

England: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Luther Burrell, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 Jonny May, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Danny Care, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Chris Robshaw (captain), 6 Tom Wood, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Tom Youngs, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Henry Thomas, 19 Dave Attwood, 20 Ben Morgan, 21 Lee Dickson, 22 Brad Barritt, 23 Alex Goode.

Date: Saturday, February 1
Venue: Stade de France, Paris
Kick-off: 18:00 (17:00 GMT)
Predicted weather: 70% chance of rain, 30 kph wind, high of 11
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Alain Rolland (Ireland), Stuart Berry (South Africa)
TMO: Jim Yuille (Scotland)

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Better known as Bunny, Took over after Pissant went over to the "Dark Side"


  1. BBC:
    Sacreu bleu! Mon dieu! Oh la la! A dramatic score and the French are on their feet. Gael Fickou crosses the line and scores underneath the posts. Canny by the 19-year-old replacement Maxime Machenaud converts and the hosts just need to hold on for two minutes.

  2. It was Yannick Nyanga’s battering charge down the right touchline which flicked the switch for the French and set the hosts rumbling forward for a move which ended in Gael Fickou’s burst through from the left. The French followers are in full voice. Trumpets are being blown. They know the finishing line is in sight.

    Deafening roars and the home team celebrate! What an end. What a start to this wonderful competition.

  3. DavidS,

    Nope – watched it in London. Were you not sad for the engelse – they have us empire, Milner and Kitchener? I think you had rooinek blood running through your veins.

  4. I thought your grandpappie was Captain Cedric Proctor Fauntleroy that led the redcoats on their subjugation of the boer republics?

    Must be another DavidS.

  5. Of course the real warriors were shaka’s impis, those buggers were fit and fast as cheetahs and tough as steel. They hardened their feet by running over thorns – the poms got sunburn and cried off sick and the boere were masters of the long shot and then hauled ass op die perd back for koeksusters vir aandete, hit and run.

    The Zulus ate pap and farted thunder