Oval Talk

Six Nations statistics: Will England win in France?

Oval Talk

Owen Farrell says that England's narrow Six Nations loss to Wales at Twickenham a fortnight ago can stand them in good stead for the trip to the Stade de France.

France have won only one of their last five Six Nations encounters with England, although England have only triumphed in one of their last five visits to Paris and also lost a World Cup quarter-final to Les Blues last year.

Farrell has been retained at fly-half despite Charlie Hodgson's return to fitness. He has impressed with the boot so far in this tournament after helping England to opening wins from inside centre in Scotland and Italy.

He is confident for Sunday's match, while conceding that France - who drew 17-17 with Ireland last weekend - are a dangerous side.

"The way the [Twickenham] crowd got behind the team was exceptional," said the Saracens youngster. "It was a massive privilege to play in front of them and it made me feel that there is nowhere I'd rather play rugby.

"France have unbelievably dangerous players. They are also massively experienced, so they have the ability to tear teams apart.

"The way they came back in the second period [after trailing 17-6 at half-time] just showed how tough our task is going to be. You can never underestimate them.

"Having said that, we are looking forward to the challenge and will go there with a plan and, hopefully, we can impose our game.

"If we defend as a team, get off the line well and stay on the same page, we will be all right. We work on that every day and never defend as individuals — it is about the whole team. That will stand us in good stead.

"Just like every other game in the Six Nations, this will be hard. You expect every game to be tough because each one in international rugby is like a cup final."

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