England have been warned to expect a French onslaught in Paris on Sunday as Fabien Galthie reacted to Eddie Jones’ promise of “brutal physicality” in their Guinness Six Nations opener.
But Galthie, his opposite number with France, has returned fire with his own blueprint for success.
“We also have a plan,” said Galthie, who will be overseeing his first Six Nations match as head coach.
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“Expect a ferocious pack. Expect a ferocious battle to win the ball. Expect my players to stand their ground with ferocious tackles and collisions. They will play with passion and go beyond their limits.”
Jones has caused upset in rugby circles on this side of The Channel through use of the word “brutal”, which when translated into French has explicit connotations of violence.
France manager and former captain Raphael Ibanez took a swipe at Jones for demanding blood and thunder from his players while watching from the stands.
“We’ve been around for 30 years and we’ve always been hearing those kind of declarations,” Ibanez said.
“This concept of physical violence is interesting. But if you think about it, the England manager and us have one thing in common – on Sunday we will be in the stands.
“So it’s easy to talk about physical violence when you’re watching from the stands.”
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