France v England Rugby Betting – Six Nations Preview and Odds – 11.03.12

Tough Paris test for young England

Rugby England - France

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France v England Six Nations Rugby Betting Odds
France to win: 4/9 at SportingBet
Draw: 22/1 at Totesport
England to win: 11/4 at Totesport

England v France Six Nations betting is always one of the most highly anticipated clashes of the tournament, and this year is no different. England suffered their first loss of this year’s tournament, going down 19-12 to Wales at Twickenham on February 25th. England failed to get over the try line the match, but conceded a crucial late one with less than five minutes to go. The big news in the England squad is that Toby Flood has been released back to his club, which means that Charlie Hodgson will come back in at Fly Half for Sunday’s clash in Paris. It should mean that goal kicking star Owen Farrell stays at number ten. While interim coach Stuart Lancaster has trimmed his England squad, and the team isn’t announced until Friday, Courtney Lawes misses the rest of the Six Nations, which should mean Tom Palmer makes his way to the bench as a replacement. After all the talk of England adopting a new attacking philosophy, we have still only seen two tries from them in three Six Nations matches this season, both of them from Charlie Hodgson, both of them from charging down kicks. The England players though are insistent that they are going out and trying to play attacking rugby, but there just hasn’t been quite enough clinical conviction from them in attack, certainly not against the weaker opposition like Scotland and Italy. Now England have two tough matches to round off this year’s championship, a visit to Paris and then a final match against Ireland. England start Sunday’s match one point behind France, so there is still a chance for England to claim at least second place in the table. This is a big match for England’s future.

France have already named an unchanged squad from their 17-17 draw against Ireland last weekend in Paris. That was a thrilling game, one in which France had to dig deep and claw their way back into. The French are still the most dangerous side in the tournament, and they will still pounce upon any weakness shown by opponents. The fact that they didn’t crumble against Ireland when they were down 17-6, says a lot about the two sides of Phillipe St Andre’s outfit. There have just been lack lustre periods of their play when they haven’t raised their game to live up to potential. They were slack in the first half against Ireland, just as they were against Scotland at Murrayfield as well. So coach St Andre has decided on a big shake up in the half backs, as both Morgan Parra and Francois Trinh-Duc both have been sent to the bench, and France are going with the Julien Dupuy as scrum half and Lionel Beauxis gets drafted in at fly half. So St Andre has called this a tactical change as he just looks for some consistency to spark his team back into life. This is an important match for France, because they need to win against England in order to head into the final weekend of the 2012 Six Nations with a shot at winning the Championship. France face Wales in what could a championship decider on the final weekend. If England win however, it should hand the title to Wales.

France v England Head to Head
Overall, England lead with 51 wins to 37 and have enjoyed wins in Paris in two of their last three trips there. There were wins for England in France in the 2007 and 2008, but the last time they came together in the Six Nations in Paris, it ended in a 12-10 win for the French. France average 11.94 points per game against England, while the English average 15.02 points against France.