Can there be any other match in rugby union that so quickens the pulse, France against England? Will it be Gallic flair and fortitude from a side that has yet to ignite this years Rugby World Cup?
There has been severe criticism from the press and arguments in the squad. Now the players say that is behind them, the mentality and cohesion is back.
The country and the press, who turned up at a briefing wearing false moustaches are behind coach Marc Lievremont’s side. He had grown a moustache as the result of a lost bet. Peace has broken out says Gonzalo Quesada, France assistant coach
“I think wearing those moustaches is a nice blink of the eye from the guys, trying to say “peace”. We have a big game tomorrow, as a country, as a whole unit,” he said.
Beer and hijinx have held equal headlines for England’s campaign so far along with their stuttering performances on the field. With Flood and Wilkinson starting together England have kicking options, but as ever it will be the battle up front which could be the decisive factor.
“In any game, whether it’s club level or international level against French sides, it’s incredibly tough up front. They’re an unpredictable side as we’ve seen in this tournament and historically so you’ve got to come prepared for anything,” said England forward Simon Shaw.