Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Johnson's men need a tough test from France

Saturday's match with France is a vital fixture for England, not only as we are looking to move one step closer to the championship and an overdue Grand Slam, but in the sense that France will provide one of the strongest tests we come up against before the World Cup in September.

Martin Johnson will certainly have one eye on the grand slam title challenge and one eye on September as he watches his team line up on Saturday.

The amount of testing fixtures between now and September are few and far between, and so, although England will be looking for victory in the short term, they will also be hoping that a strong France team turn up and produce a solid performance which will add great value England's preparations for the World Cup.

It could be fair to say that there have been greater developments in the England squad this season than there has been in the last 3 or 4 seasons. The performances have been very encouraging, with the team producing an ambitious, fluid, entertaining brand of rugby. They have been certainly tested at times and produced errors, but this just goes to show how quickly they are learning and how essential a stern test is and anyone following the goalwire livescore should remember this.

If France set out to perform and win this Saturday, rather than simply arriving in body and leaving their heart at the French boarder like 2 years ago, then England will have the opportunity to add to their development and also discover if their brand of Rugby they have been producing can withstand the power and pace of a French outfit. The recent goalwire livescores suggest it should be a close game.

In an ideal world, If France put England on the back foot and Johnsons men come out with a win, this would certainly give the squad a huge confidence boost and give maturity to the young players who currently driving the team. Such a turnout would stand us in good stead for New Zealand in September.

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