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Six Nations: England v France build-up

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Six Nations: England v France build-up
General view of Twickenham

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Summary

  1. 15:00 GMT: England v France at Twickenham – live commentary on Radio 5 live sports extra
  2. England seek to build on win over Ireland last week
  3. Wing Ashton makes first Six Nations start since 2013
  4. Bastareaud starts at centre in one of six France changes
  5. France have won just three of last 12 matches

Live Reporting

By Mike Henson

All times stated are UK

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  1. ‘Despair’

    England v France (15:00 GMT)

    |L'Equipe

    Copyright: L’Equipe

    With seven defeats in their last eight Tests, France have been subject to a savage debrief in their domestic press.

    L’Equipe’s front page featured a one-word headline: ‘Despair’.

    Legendary flanker Oliver Magne called for a wholesale clear-out of the team’s older generation. “At the
    first hitch, they collapse psychologically. This generation has been associated
    with defeat for too long,” he told Midi Olympique. “They are deeply traumatised.”

    L’Equipe’s front page this morning is not optimistic, seemingly braced for a thrashing.

  2. Elsewhere…

    England 41-12 France

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    England v France women

    Copyright: getty

    The Women’s Six Nations encounter between England and France is reaching it’s conclusion over in Doncaster.

    Billed as a potential title decider, it has been a hum-dinging contest so far.

    England lead 41-12 with around 15 minutes to play.

    Check in over here for live radio and text commentary.

  3. Pain in Paris

    England v France (15:00 GMT)

    Yoann Huget

    Copyright: Getty Images

    While England were making confetti on pre-match prediction columns in Dublin, France were messily imploding.

    When Camille Lopez snapped a long-distance dropper to send his side down the tunnel 16-0 up on Wales at half-time, all seemed well.

    Never before in the 136-year history of the tournament has a team blown such a healthy half-time lead.

    But this France team has unerring accuracy only when it come to aiming the shotgun on it’s own shoes.

    Cue a Yoann Huget bout of butterfingers, second row Sebastien Vahaamahina throwing an open invitation to intercept and Wales wound up winning 24-19.

  4. Que sera sera

    England v France (15:00 GMT)

    Chris Jones

    BBC rugby union correspondent at Twickenham

    France arrive at Twickenham

    Copyright: Getty Images

    The French may not have won at Twickenham in the Six Nations since 2005, but their players look relaxed with an hour to go until kick-off, strolling onto the Twickenham pitch sipping cups of coffee

  5. England by 15?

    England v France (15:00 GMT)

    The Times

    Sam Warburton

    Copyright: Getty Images

    Former Wales captain Sam Warburton, writing in the Times, was impressed by England’s win in Dublin, but warns that it is difficult to replicate that intensity every week.

    “I have not seen an England team reach such emotional levels for a long time. They were so pumped up to physically impose themselves. As a team, you can only hit that absolute emotional pinnacle a handful of times a year. That seemed like one of those occasions,” he writes.

    “Can England reproduce that performance against France? I don’t think they will feel under pressure to do so. They will be flying with confidence, raring to face France and show what they can do in front of their home crowd.

    “It has to be an England win, by 15 points.”

  6. Post update

  7. Le Crunch incoming

    England v France (15:00 GMT)

    Twickenham

    Copyright: Getty

    Nothing like a good weekend away is there?

    Take in the sights of a foreign capital. Sample some local cuisine and hospitality. Blow Six Nations assumptions asunder.

    After last weekend’s seismic victory over Ireland in Dublin, England return to home turf today to take on France.

    Can they back up a brilliant laser-focused display with more of the same? Or can the French derail a bandwagon that suddenly has a lot of momentum and a fair few more passengers?

  8. Homecoming kings

    England v France (15:00 GMT)

    Mentally Ireland have the edge on England, physically England will take them to the wire but the Aviva Stadium will be the difference. Ireland by six. (Stuart Barnes)

    Henry Slade

    Copyright: Getty Images

    The hosts are confident, well-drilled and should ultimately be too good for the away team. Ireland by 8. (Planet Rugby)

    maroo Itoje

    Copyright: Getty

    If Johnny Sexton can stay injury free, then I don’t see anyone stopping Ireland. (Maggie Alphonsi)

    Johnny Sexton

    Copyright: Getty Images

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