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Money piling on England, but France selection is cause for concern

| 22.02.2013

One punter has already had £34,000 on England beating France in the Six Nations at 1/3 and the fact that the French have lost their opening two fixtures is sure to be a reason for this.

However, as below-par as France have played in these defeats, they have arguably not been helped by fairly clumsy team selections.

Philippe Saint-Andre appears to have learnt his lesson ahead of the visit to Twickenham though, with France finally seeming set to get their best team onto the field, in the right positions.

Wesley Fofana has to be considered one of the best centres in the northern hemisphere and certainly the best in the French ranks.

He will start here rather than being wasted on the wing, while Morgan Parra has been selected at scrum half and Francois Trinh-Duc replaces Freddie Michalak at fly half for his first international start since June.

In total, Saint-Andre has made seven changes from the defeat to Wales and 9/4 does look on the large side for a French victory, particularly as the team arrives wounded and with nothing to lose.

Despite a first win in Ireland for a decade, Stuart Lancaster has also made three changes rather than sticking with the same 15.

Most notable is the return of Manu Tuilagi for Billy Twelvetrees and his head-to-head with Mathieu Bastareaud could be a real ground shaker.

But the change of most interest comes in the shape of a start for Courtney Lawes, whose athleticism in the back row could be a valuable asset here, especially in making life difficult for Parra and Trinh-Duc in their quests to run the game.

He is in for James Haskell, who has not only been ill in recent days, but has not been the most disciplined on the field in recent appearances.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.