Steve Borthwick’s England have plan to unsettle Les Bleus behemoths

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England can build on their impressive display against Ireland to outmanoeuvre France’s formidable forwards in Lyon

It is not every season that England can boast a more impressive Test record in France than their Gallic hosts. Six wins and a one‑point defeat in seven World Cup games on French soil within the past seven months is not the worst of springboards into the final weekend of Six Nations games, particularly as Les Bleus have failed to secure a victory in any of their last three outings at home.

Not since 1999, when the Five Nations was still in existence, have France gone through an entire championship without a single home victory, which may explain the lack of experimentation in their unchanged match-day 23 for this weekend’s fixture. The subtext is clear enough: France are taking this game seriously even if this particular version of Le Crunch is not as era-defining as some of its predecessors.

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Written by Robert Kitson in Lyon
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