Sunday, February 10, 2019

Six Nation Preview: England v France

Six Nations Preview: England v France, Twickenham 8am MST

England are now the team to beat after last week’s sorting of the Irish at Dublin. The Men of the Rose are largely unchanged save for the insertion of Courtney Lawes into the engine room due the knee knock to Maro Itoje, and Chris Ashton gets the nod ahead of Jack Nowell on the wing, raising the distinct possibility of an “Ash Flash” at Twickers today.

France have changed six for kickoff today: blindside flanker Wenceslas Lauret has been dropped through the side and injured Max Medard, Wesley Fofana and front row Uini Atonio are relegated to observation/rehabilitation duties. Second row Paul Willemse and last week’s first five-eighths, Romain Ntamack, have been relieved of starter’s shirts yet will most likely see second stanza action. Matthieu Bastareaud returns to the midfield pairing with Geoff Doumayrou and that will set up the thunder and lightning in the middle of the pitch with England’s Mano Tuilagi and Henry Slade  keen for that contact.

It’s raining lightly in England’s Cathedral of Rugby just now, a bit more than two hours before the kickstart, so you may expect some slipping, sliding and a greasy pill for the show. If you see a bright spot on the horizon this morning it may not be sunrise, but the barn burning the other side of the pond for this will be a conflagration of epic proportions.
Sunday Morning Comix

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