England are looking to add the trophy to their recent Six Nations triumph, but come up against the only side to have beaten them in the last 12 months with revenge on the cards after the French defeated Eddie Jones’s side in Paris last February.
However, France arrive with a second-string side after an agreement with the Top 14 clubs means they cannot select their first-team players who have already made a maximum of three appearances this autumn, handing an early advantage to England. Jones has been keen to talk down that benefit this week though, with the head coach keen to talk up the French team that dispatched Italy rather convincingly last weekend. Follow the live updates below.
53 mins: England 9-13 France
England win an immediate penalty as Hill nails Couilloud from the restart, trapping the scrum-half and isolating him for the holding on penalty. To the delight of the crowd, England go to the corner, but France pinch the lineout and clear the danger. Another chance wasted.
Jack de Menezes6 December 2020 15:16
53 mins: England 9-13 France
It’s another miss from Farrell, who after a lengthy complaint to the referee pushes his effort wide.
Jack de Menezes6 December 2020 15:15
51 mins: England 9-13 France
England very nearly score after receiving a penalty advantage for Kolingar hinging in the scrum, allowing them free licence to attack wide. They come through the hands as Daly joins the line, and he releases Watson early only for the wing to cut in and get tackled just short. His attempted offload is tapped back by a French hand and we’ll come back for the penalty, which Farrell will kick at goal.
Jack de Menezes6 December 2020 15:14
50 mins: England 9-13 France
England kick away from the 22 and May chases hard, which nearly pays off when Dulin fails to take the kick. He hacks into touch, and France utilise a short lineout to go quickly. They look to attack through Moefana, but he’s absolutely nailed by Vunipola in what is a second enormous tackle from the No 8 today, and eventually England draw the mistake out of France as Jalibert sells Raka short and he knocks on.
Jack de Menezes6 December 2020 15:12
48 mins: England 9-13 France
Farrell lands the successful penalty and cuts the deficit to four points. Changes for France as Danty heads off with Pierre-Louis Barassi on at centre.
Jack de Menezes6 December 2020 15:10
46 mins: England 6-13 France
That’s a bit better from the hosts as they look to spread the ball and, when Geraci is caught offside, they have a free play that sees Youngs release May, who in turn finds Farrell in support. When Daly tries to chip through it’s deflected into touch, but they go back for the penalty and Farrell will kick for goal.
Jack de Menezes6 December 2020 15:09
45 mins: England 6-13 France
France handle the scrum and Couilloud clears, but he misses touch and England can attack. They try to go wide but the passing just isn’t crisp enough and it stops the runners in their stride, resulting in another kick away.
Jack de Menezes6 December 2020 15:07
44 mins: England 6-13 France
The ball is off Watson’s forearm and then into Couilloud’s hand, so it’s a knock on in France’s favour. Eddie Jones clearly wants more from his side as Ben Earl and Jonny Hill are sent on for Underhill and Launchbury in what are unusually early changes.
Jack de Menezes6 December 2020 15:06
43 mins: England 6-13 France
England drive for a moment before Youngs plays in Watson, who runs over Jalibert and recycles. Itoje carries next before England go wide to Daly, but the French drift defence is solid and they stop the attack. England have to kick for Watson to attack, and the ball is knocked dead without either the England wing or Couilloud catching it. We’ll need a TMO check to see who it came off.
Jack de Menezes6 December 2020 15:04
41 mins: England 6-13 France
France handle the kick off well and begin the latest round of aerial pingpong, but it quickly goes in favour of England as Danty is penalised for going off his feet when Jalibert was trapped by Watson. Slade sends it to the corner.
Jack de Menezes6 December 2020 15:02