Six Nations

Lancaster wary of France

2015-03-16 19:11
Stuart Lancaster (AFP)

London - England have to recalibrate for a "completely different challenge" from France after digesting the lessons from the victory over Scotland that gave them a real chance of winning the Six Nations title, coach Stuart Lancaster has said.

England host France in the final game of "Super Saturday", by which time they will know what they need to do in terms of points difference, assuming Wales or Ireland have won their away games against Italy and Scotland respectively.

They could and should have put themselves out of reach of the two Celtic sides but after wasting a series of try-scoring opportunities the 25-13 victory over Scotland has left England four points ahead of Ireland and 25 better off than Wales after all three countries have won three and lost one match.

England's backline, with flyhalf George Ford dictating matters superbly, cut through the Scots repeatedly in a fizzing first quarter but Lancaster is aware that a repeat is unlikely on Saturday despite France's scratchy campaign.

"When I showed the players the video with the opportunities they created and how they did it there was a huge amount of positive feeling," he told Sky Sports News on Monday.

"But all things are off in a new game. France are a completely different proposition. They have a strong set piece, big strong players across the board -- it's a different challenge.

"You have to get everything right just to beat France, never mind thinking about points. They are a very proud side and there's no way they are going to lie down at Twickenham."

A year ago England went into the final day level with Ireland and France on three wins but then it was their turn to go first, knowing they needed to rack up a massive away win over Italy to have a chance of the title.

They triumphed 52-11 but Ireland's 22-20 victory in Paris proved enough to take the honours on points difference

"We were in the position last time when we had to go through the pain of watching Ireland and France slug it out and France could have won it in the last play of the game," said Lancaster, in reference to a disallowed try that would have won the match for France and given England the title.

Read more on:    england  |  six nations  |  stuart lancaster  |  rugby


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