England stunned the world with their 60-6 demolition job of Samoa in the tournament opener but bettors should not expect a similar smash job against a plucky French team.
England did not take kindly to being rated outsiders on home turf against Samoa. They were switched on from the start and led by the mercurial Jack Welsby put on 60 points in a complete demolition of the one-time Pool A favourites.
We are unlikely to see an England team as fired up or as focused this week. England coach Shaun Wane has said all seven players who did not play last week would get a run against France. This is also not a back-to-the-wall situation.
France were well drilled in their opener against Greece. An obscene late try cost them the cover but they were in control the whole time with the systems Trent Robinson has put in place clearly taking hold, particularly amongst the forwards.
England and France have played four Tests since 2016 and England have not won by more than 38. Last year the margin was just 20 and this French team is far better prepared.
As they say in the classics, la France en plus and cheers to that.
Same Game Multi
Jack Welsby crossed for England’s first try last week and set up the next two showing he is just a class above at this World Cup.
Kai Pearce-Paul has four tries in 14 starts in the centres, the position he is most likely to play in this one.
French livewire Arthur Mourgue scored against Greece and can continue that form against England. He is a very good backup player, he chases everything and has an excellent step. He has seven tries from 13 starts when playing in the halves.