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Preview – England v France


England v France will always be one test you look forward too and this weekend see the two teams go at it again when they play at Twickenham on Saturday.

England is more or less out of the running for the Six Nations title but do not think that this will take away from the test. For Eddie Jones and his players this is exactly what they need to get back to winning ways after loosing against Scotland and Wales in this years Six Nations.

For France it has been two out of two with the test against Scotland being postpone till a later date and they are still well placed to challenge Wales for the title but need this win over England this weekend.

For Jones this test is one that they are really looking forward to this test after the disappointment of the their trip to Cardiff. According to Jones, his team wants to show this weekend what they are capable of.

The French had been going through a difficult time with the positive cases of COVID-19 in their camp but are ready to go this weekend against England.

They will be welcoming Virimi Vakatawa back in the side after he recovered from his injury. He will partner with Gael Fickou in the midfield.

Their are four changes to the French side that beat Ireland in Round 2.

With Gabin Villiere injured, Teddy Thomas will start the test on the wing with Damien Penaud shifting to the other side on the left.

In the pack Bernard Le Roux will be replaced by Romain Taofifenua at lock due to the injury by Le Roux while Dylan Cretin takes the pace of Anthony Jelonch.

There are some top class players on the bench for the French with hooker Camille Chat and Jean-Baptiste Gros. Romain Ntamack will also take up a spot on the bench who will surely make an impact later in the test.

The best news for the French will be that Antione Dupont is in the side at nine partnering with Matthieu Jalibert at ten.

Meanwhile on the English side Elliot Daly has been one of the casualties of the Wales test being replaced by Max Malins.

Max will make his fist start for England this weekend.

Watson will earn his 50th cap for England on the right wing with May on the left.

Jones have opted to keep Farrell in the midfield partnering with Slade again with George Ford taking the number ten jumper again this weekend.

In the pack Luke Cowan-Dickie will take the number two jumper with Vunipola and Sinckler next to him. Charlie Ewels will partner with Mary Itoje in the second row.

The loose trio will stay the same as the last test with Wilson and Curry on the side and Vunipola at number eight.

Although Jones has suggested that they will play a ball in hand game the weather may make it tricky for the players with the forecast of scattered showers predicted.

Clearly the matchup that we need to look forward to will be between the two nine’s in Ben Youngs and Antoine Dupont.

Youngs has been the preferred nine for England for over a decade now as he remains a threat to any team they face. He manage the game well and have one of the better kicking game around.

His experience also adds great value to this England side.

He is up against one of the best 9’s in the game today this weekend. He is electric and lethal around the breakdown and has a great head on his shoulders to read the game.

His defence is good and he has a good boot as well. This will be the experience against the raising star when these two meet on Saturday.

One do feel the packs will have the last say in this test and we expect a massive battle not just in the set pieces but also on the ground.

Primary ball is essential in winning test matches and this weekend will be no different.

This is going to be a cracker so do not miss this one. The match will be live on SuperSport this Saturday.

Prediction: Really have a feeling Eddie has something up his sleeve and England us going to come good. England by 7


England: 15 Max Malins, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Owen Farrell (c), 11 Jonny May, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Mark Wilson, 5 Charlie Ewels, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Mako Vunipola

Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Will Stuart, 19 Jonny Hill, 20 Ben Earl, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Ollie Lawrence, 23 Elliot Daly

France: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Virimi Vakatawa, 12 Gael Fickou, 11 Damian Penaud, 10 Matthieu Jalibert, 9 Antoine Dupont, 8 Gregory Alldritt, 7 Charles Ollivon (c), 6 Dylan Cretin, 5 Paul Willemse, 4 Romain Taofifenua, 3 Mohamed Haouas, 2 Julien Marchand, 1 Cyril Baille

Replacements: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Jean-Baptiste Gros, 18 Dorian Aldegheri, 19 Cyril Cazeaux, 20 Cameron Woki, 21 Anthony Jelonch, 22 Baptiste Serin, 23 Romain Ntamack

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