Are France a Real Threat to England’s Grand Slam Hopes?

Threatening? The French were impressive against ScotlandFrance completed a stylish and dominant victory over an improving Scottish side on Saturday, mainly due to some intelligent and creative play.

With the majority of France’s 2010 grand slam winning team in the starting fifteen, the dominance of the French is remains evident. However, their consistency has been questioned with a recent 16-59 thrashing by the Aussies in Paris highlighting problems within the French squad.

On the other hand, England have been an improved side since last year’s Grand Slam. Impressive performance in the Autumn internationals has proved England to be in better form than France and the other European nations. England are a formidable team with new and young in form players, Ben Youngs is playing consistently well for both club and country. Moreover, England are a newly formed team with the likes of Shontayne Hape and Dan Cole. However, despite having a handful of caps their inexperience may be a downfall as England seem less clinical than France in the opponents 22.

Meanwhile, France have players with raw creative talent. Morgan Parra set the six nations alight with pin point passing accuracy along with his natural instinct. Imanol Harinordoquy is iconic in the French back row, with his daunting physique and seemingly perfect line-out abilities, Harinordoquy is crucial for any French success.

In addition, with the likes of Dimitri Yachvili France have attacking talent to call on whenever they wish. However, the French did allow Scotland (a team well known for their poor try scoring record) score three converted tries past them; a worrying thought with the likes of Wales and Ireland to come – teams which are known for their attacking talent in O’Driscoll and Hook.

France look to have the ability to damage England’s Grand Slam hopes with creative and classy players throughout the pitch. However, will their lack of consistency cause their downfall? Or will England’s new found consistency and form cause them to overcome the French?

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