Marc Lievremont has never been one to shy away from tinkering with his starting fifteen and after scraping past Ireland in Dublin, the French coach has rung the changes for the match with England.
The biggest shock sees French scrum-half Morgan Parra dropped in favour of Dimitri Yachvilli, and considering Parra kicked five penalties against Ireland it’s a bold move by Lievremont.
Considering England conceded 18 penalties against Italy, punters backing France at 7/4 will hope that Yachvilli has his kicking boots on with the game likely to come down to three points.
In the handicap betting England give France a start of 4.5 points and are 5/6 to beat the French, but considering their penalty count against Italy, and the fact they face up against the superior pack of the Six Nations, punters may want to take the 10/11 for France to win.
It’s a sign of how strong the French pack has been with Lievremont making just the one change to his forward eight, bringing in Sebastien Chabal for Julien Bonnaire, and the penalty count could change the course of the game.
The mercurial Damien Traille finds himself on the bench in favour of France’s 2010 Six Nations hero Yannick Jauzion, while Vincent Clerc will start on the left wing with Maxime Medard switched to full-back as Clement Poitrenaud drops to the bench.
France may have only beaten England once at Twickenham in five Six Nations matches, but the 4/9 for England to win seems particularly short considering the strength that the French have shown in their opening two games.
In 2009 England beat France by a huge 24 points, but this weekend’s tie will be a lot closer and backing England to win by 1-10 points at 13/8 looks the best Six Nations bet.
A £25 stake on France beating England by 1-5 points would return £175. New customers can sign up here for a free bet worth £25.