The French take on England in the City of Light. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
France Vs. England
|Stade de France, Paris|
|France 25 defeated England 20|
|Referee: J Peyper|
|Touch judges: J Lacey & M Mitrea|
France defeated England 25-20 in their World Cup warm-up on the back of an excellent game from Frederic Michalak who kicked 17 points to become France’s all-time leading scorer.
France 25 def. England 20
England and France lock horns again in a World Cup warm-up match, this time in Paris. Join The Roar from 5am (AEST) for all the action from the French capital.
England got the cash last weekend 19-14 at Twickenham, after a somewhat strange game. Anthony Watson scored two great tries, two debutants in Sam Burgess and Calum Clark got yellow-carded, but England held on for the win.
France were dominant in the forwards but outplayed in the backs. The Poms looked impressive in midfield, where Burgess was paired with Henry Slade, but their second-string pack struggled.
Different line-ups have been put together for this game, with England selecting a much stronger squad with a first-choice forward pack. Joe Marler, Tom Youngs and Dan Cole will pack down in the front row, with Courtney Lawes and Joe Launchbury in the second row and Chris Robshaw, James Haskell and Billy Vunipola in the back row.
Mike Brown is in at fullback for his first game since May, while Ben Youngs and George Ford will partner in the halves.
Robshaw is captain once again, while Billy Twelvetrees will surely see some game-time from the bench.
Debutant hooker Jamie George is also on the bench, but there was no place for league convert Burgess.
For France, big Mathieu Bastareaud is back in the centres, with Frederic Michalak at five-eighth, Wesley Fofana on the wing and Pascal Pape as skipper.
Influential French captain Thierry Dusautoir is again left out as he fights to return from injury, but it is a stronger 23-man outfit than took the field at Twickenham.
England’s scrum and lineout were wobbly last Saturday so how they perform in this game will be watched closely, and France will be fired up to get a win over their old rivals at the Stade de France.