2021 Six Nations Championship – England vs France Preview & Prediction

Select the sports you want to hear about and TSZ will send the best previews, analysis and predictions straight to your inbox. Sign up today!

THE FACTS

When is England vs France taking place? Saturday 13th March, 2021 – 16:45

Where is England vs France taking place? Twickenham Stadium, London

Where can I get tickets for England vs France? Visit this link for ticket information

What channel is England vs France on? ITV

Where can I stream England vs France? England vs France can be streamed via ITV Player

THE TEAM NEWS

ENGLAND

  • England lost their second Six Nations match in three this tournament in a 40-24 humbling by Wales at the Millennium Stadium to see their last chance at retaining the title slip away.
  • Even if Eddie Jones’ side win their remaining two games and gain a bonus point in both they would need both Wales and next opponents France to lose their remaining matches and Wales face Italy first on Saturday to more-than-likely scupper that here.
  • Bristol Bears’ full-back, on loan from Saracens, Max Malins will get his first England start in place of Elliott Daly while Luke Cowan-Dickie is preferred at hooker alongside Mako Vunipola and Kyle Sinckler.

England: 15 Max Malins, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Owen Farrell (c), 11 Jonny May, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Mark Wilson, 5 Charlie Ewels, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Mako Vunipola

Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Will Stuart, 19 Jonny Hill, 20 Ben Earl, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Ollie Lawrence, 23 Elliot Daly

FRANCE

  • France suffered a catastrophic coronavirus outbreak in the middle of February to see their third Six Nations fixture at home to Scotland postponed and it remains to be seen how the squad will perform with at least 12 cases.
  • Head coach Fabien Galthie was criticised for breaking protocol by leaving the camp bubble to watch his son play after the opening weekend of the Six Nations but a media storm seems to have subsided now.
  • France are able to welcome back a host of big names to their bench like Camille Chat, Jean-Baptise Gros and Romain Ntamack while Virimi Vakatawa has recovered from injury in time to start.

France: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Virimi Vakatawa, 12 Gael Fickou, 11 Damian Penaud, 10 Matthieu Jalibert, 9 Antoine Dupont, 8 Gregory Alldritt, 7 Charles Ollivon (c), 6 Dylan Cretin, 5 Paul Willemse, 4 Romain Taofifenua, 3 Mohamed Haouas, 2 Julien Marchand, 1 Cyril Baille

Replacements: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Jean-Baptiste Gros, 18 Dorian Aldegheri, 19 Cyril Cazeaux, 20 Cameron Woki, 21 Anthony Jelonch, 22 Baptiste Serin, 23 Romain Ntamack

THE PREDICTION

There are so many parameters as to how the mood will play out by the time England and France take to the field that a result-based pick here seems tough to justify. For one, we will not know how and if the covid-19 outbreak has affected France’s squad as, with many Rugby Union sides from the Top 14 to the Premiership, effects have been vastly unpredictable. Secondly, in the likely outcome that Wales beat Italy in the first game on Saturday, England will be playing for pride alone with an unlikely title tilt wiped out by Wales’ fourth win from four. France will be the only threat with a so-far 100% record two from their two matches and this looks set to be a tournament-defining tussle at Twickenham. Last December, Eddie Jones’ side won the inaugural Autumn Nations Cup in a tight 22-19 thriller here and we could be in for another enthralling match between two sides capable of offensive excellence and defensive slip-ups. England to scrape through a match that goes over 40 points looks to be the likeliest way this one could fall as you would have to go back to 2007 for the last time France won at Twickenham but realistically this match has the potential to go any which way.

TSZ Latest