Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
So much controversy surrounds these two teams at this Rugby World Cup, it’s difficult to find the rugby. France is a team falling apart at the seems from the coach down whilst England has had off field incidents that has caused eyebrows raised.
France could simply bounce back. If they do watch out. But I feel that they don’t have the passion or fibre to succeed this time. I met many French fans whilst in New Zealand. They have a colour, a zest and a passion for their team. But I also felt a great sad loss as they could see that their team is not in good health. I hope I’m wrong. I’m not suggesting that France will simply roll over but with such a tremendous amount of pressure on I feel it will be they who will buckle.
England have the grunt to win this game. They are not playing pretty but they can pull a win out of the mire and can hold. Often just. They should win.
Last Five Encounters
26.02.2011 England 17-9 at Twickenham (6 Nations)
20.03.2010 France 12-10 in Paris (6 Nations)
15.03.2009 England 34-10 at Twickenham (6 Nations)
23.02.2008 England 24-13 in Paris (6 Nations)
13.10.2007 England 14-9 in Marseilles (World Cup Warm up)
England This World Cup (Pool B)
10.09.2011 v Argentina W 13-9 in Dunedin
18.09.2011 v Georgia W 41-10 in Dunedin
24.09.2011 v Romania W 67-3 in Dunedin
01.10.2011 v Scotland W 16-12 in Auckland
France This World Cup (Pool A)
10.09.2011 v Japan W 47-21 in Albany
18.09.2011 v Canada W 46-19 in Napier
24.09.2011 v New Zealand L 17-37 in Auckland
01.10.2011 v Tonga L 14-19 in Wellington
GWC Rugby Rankings
World Table-England 6th, France 9th
Europe Table-France 2nd, England 5th
IRB Ranking Points
England 84.54, France 83.72
Prediction: England by 8 points
15 Benjamin Foden, 14 Christopher Ashton, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Tobias Flood, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Jonny Wilkinson, 9 Benjamin Youngs, 8 Nicholas Easter, 7 Lewis Moody,
6 Thomas Croft, 5 Thomas Palmer, 4 Louis Deacon, 3 Daniel Cole, 2 Steven Thompson, 1 Matthew Stevens.
16 Dylan Hartley, 17 Alexander Corbisiero, 18 Courtney Lawes, 19 Simon Shaw, 20 James Haskell, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Matthew Banahan.
Head Coach: Martin Johnson
15 Maxime Médard, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Aurélien Rougerie, 12 Maxime Mermoz, 11 Alexis Palisson, 10 Morgan Parra, 9 Dimitri Yachvili, 8 Imanol Harinordoquy, 7 Julien Bonnaire, 6 Thierry Dusautoir, Capt. 5 Lionel Nallet, 4 Pascal Pape, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 William Servat, 1 Jean-Baptiste Poux.
16 Dimitri Szarzewski, 17 Fabien Barcella, 18 Julien Pierre, 19 Louis Picamoles, 20 Francois Trinh-Duc, 21 David Marty, 22 Cédric Heymans.
Head Coach: Marc Lievremont