England v France Preview

Hey you. Yes, you. What are you doing tomorrow at 7:35pm? Having tea? Going out on the town with your mates? Relaxing in a nice hot bath, with those little candles round the edge and some Enya playing? Well, make yourself a TV dinner, cancel your plans, and blow out the candles because the Red Roses are kicking off their 6 Nations campaign tomorrow evening and it promises to be a cracker of a game.

They play France, last year’s champions and perhaps England’s biggest rivals for this year’s crown. Although the Red Roses beat them 10 – 5 in November, the French are a tough team and will be looking to get off to the perfect start with a win against their old rivals.

The pack is probably France’s biggest weapon, with big ball carriers like Number 8 Safi N’Diaye and lots of hard tacklers. However, they lack a world class kicker and were very rusty and error-prone when the two sides last met.

There have also been personnel changes, after old coaches Jean-Michel Gonzalez and Philippe Laurent were sacked in December. Consequently, new boss Samuel Cherouk hasn’t had much time with his squad.

On the other hand, England are a settled team with a wealth of experienced heads, including World Cup winners. Additionally, they are the only fully professional team in the 6 Nations and as such have much more time to train and improve than the others. They will hope that this pays off and they produce a strong performance against France as they look for a first Grand Slam since 2012.

With strong, ball-running forwards such as Marlie Packer and captain Sarah Hunter, livewire scrumhalf Natasha Hunt and the pace and electric feet of Danielle Waterman at fullback, England will fancy their chances. France are certainly no pushover, though, and will look to dominate the forward battle. However, the Red Roses are the slight favourites and should get their campaign off to a good start with victory.

Match info:

Kick off: Saturday 4th February @ 7:35pm, Twickenham Stadium

How to watch: Live on Sky Sports Mix. Entry to the stadium is free following the men’s match.

Watch the sides’ last encounter here

Other fixtures:

Scotland v Ireland – Friday 3rd February at Broadwood Stadium – KO 18:35 – Live on RTE

Italy v Wales – Saturday 4th February at Stadio Comunale Pacifico Carotti – KO 14:00 GMT (15:00 local) – Live on Eurosport IT

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