The Reuters global sports blog
There will be an extra buzz around Twickenham on Saturday and it will not be just because England fans know a win over France would set them up for their first Six Nations title for eight years.
“Le Crunch” is back, and then some. The fixture that was for so long the focal point of the championship gradually lost its allure as England dropped off the pace and Wales and Ireland became the main challengers, but with two wins apiece for the cross-channel rivals so far, it once again looks the pivotal match.
With the teams on course to meet again in the quarter-finals of the World Cup later this year there is an extra edge to the clash and just in case that was not enough, along came France coach Marc Lievremont to roll back the years with his extraordinary blast last weekend.
“We appreciate our Italian cousins with whom we share the same quality of life. We appreciate the Celts and their conviviality and then among all these nations we have one huge thing in common: we all don’t like the English,” he announced.