Chabal - Title on the line
Sebastien Chabal has called on France to front up against England in what he feels will be a shoot-out for the Six Nations title.
Last Updated: 14/02/11 4:54pm
Sebastien Chabal believes that the Twickenham showdown between England and France will decide who will win this year's RBS Six Nations title.
The two unbeaten teams in this year's championship go toe-to-toe on February 26, albeit off the back of contrasting results.
England smashed Italy on home soil last weekend, winger Chris Ashton scoring four tries, while Les Bleus edged out Ireland in Dublin.
Former Sale Shark Chabal predicts the title will now effectively be decided in round three - and has issued a rallying cry to his fellow French forwards to front up against a powerful English pack.
"When we started the competition, it was to win it," he said.
"Now I believe the winner of the next round will win the Six Nations. So we will try to do our best and get a result in England.
"We watched England's game against Italy. They played great rugby, they moved the ball and were strong. But Italy didn't play well.
"For us the first thing is to be stronger with our forwards, because when they go backwards it will be more difficult for them to move the ball around the pitch."
France coach Marc Lievremont opened the phoney war with England, insisting Martin Johnson's side were "very much ahead" of everyone else.
"I'm already feeling something of a headache looking towards the England match because they are looking very sure of themselves," he said.
"We need to appreciate our win against Ireland and realise that England are very much ahead of everyone else at the moment.
"They have a very physical team, they're intense and accelerate a lot.
"It appears that the other five nations are developing at a much lower level.
"We know that it will be complicated and that we must resolve some issues, but we will progress in this aspect."
Chabal backed up his coach's words, acknowledging that France - who beat Scotland in the opening round - have yet to fulfill their potential in 2011.
"We made too many mistakes against Ireland, we are not full of confidence and sometimes it's quite difficult for us on the pitch," added the Racing Metro player.
"We have three days' rest now and we'll join up on Thursday, giving us 10 days to prepare for England. We need a good game plan to beat them."