England v France - RBS Six Nations match preview

Last updated: 23rd February 2013  

Philippe Saint-Andre France head coach

Philippe Saint-Andre: Insists England are the favourites for the Twickenham showdown

Stuart Lancaster Manu Tuilagi

Manu Tuilagi: Recalled by England as one of three changes by head coach Stuart Lancaster

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England will be looking to pile more misery on out-of-sorts France when the two rivals meet at Twickenham in Six Nations action on Saturday.

Stuart Lancaster's men have made a fine start to the 2013 competition with wins over Scotland and Ireland, but it is a different story for France.

The pre-tournament favourites are without a victory from their opening games after following a shock defeat to Italy and they followed up that result with a 16-6 loss to Wales on home soil.

Should France lose to England it will also be the first time since 2001 that they have lost three matches in a campaign. It would also be their fifth consecutive loss in the Six Nations, making it their worst losing streak since 1958.

However Lancaster, who has recalled Manu Tuilagi, Dylan Hartley and Courtney Lawes, has warned his side against complacency, stating France are still capable of pulling off an upset at Twickenham.

"It's interesting to see the French team and the changes they've made. It's clearly a high quality French side coming to Twickenham and we're really looking forward to the game," said Lancaster.

Changes

"You go through the list of names, their caps and their experience and there are some very good players who've played in very big games for club and country.

"You can see the shape they're trying to play and you can see their attacking patterns from previous games. There is lots of footage to look at - not just the last two games but they beat Argentina and they beat Australia."

France have rung the changes for the match in London and head coach France head coach Philippe Saint-Andre admits the hosts are the firm favourites to maintain their 100 per cent start.

Saint-Andre, who has brought back Francois Trinh-Duc, Morgan Parra, Vincent Clerc, Thomas Domingo and Benjamin Kayser, said: "The English will start favourites. We will have to show all our qualities of being French on Saturday - that means being brave, daring, unpredictable and to take the fight to them.

"When we are able to do that, we are able to pose problems for any team in the world. To be honest, it's always a good thing when we French have our backs to the wall.

"That forces us to regroup and to better prepare individually for what will be a bruising contest. Often, the French rugby team has proved to be better when labelled as outsiders rather than favourites."

England: 15 A Goode, 14 C Ashton, 13 M Tuilagi, 12 B Barritt, 11 M Brown, 10 O Farrell, 9 B Youngs, 1 J Marler, 2 D Hartley, 3 D Cole, 4 J Launchbury, 5 G Parling, 6 C Lawes, 7 C Robshaw, 8 T Wood.

Replacements 16 T Youngs, 17 D Wilson, 18 M Vunipola, 19 J Haskell, 20 T Waldrom, 21 D Care, 22 T Flood, 23 B Twelvetrees

France: 15 Y Huget, 14 V Clerc, 13 M Bastareaud, 12 W Fofana, 11 B Fall, 10 F Trinh-Duc, 9 M Parra, 1 L Picamoles, 2 Y Nyanga, 3 T Dusautoir (capt); 4 Y Maestri, 5 C Samson, 6 N Mas, 7 B Kayser, 8 T Domingo.

Replacements: 16 D Szarzewski, 17 V Debaty, 18 L Ducalcon, 19 J Suta, 20 A Claassen, 21 M Machenaud, 22 F Michalak, 23 F Fritz

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