England ready for 'wonderful' France
SIX NATIONS SPOTLIGHT: England attack coach Simon Amor said on Saturday he was prepared for the “wonderful threats” among France’s three-quarters ahead of their opening game this weekend.
Amor, 40, who replaced Australian Scott Wisemantel after the World Cup final defeat last year, will see his side line up against the likes of in-form Virimi Vakatawa, Teddy Thomas and Damian Penaud on Sunday.
“Certainly we’re well aware of the wonderful threats that the French backline possesses, particularly in broken field play,” Amor said at the eve-of-match press conference.
“If we give them space we know how dangerous and capable they are. It’s really important that we don’t give them that space, that we maintain a real tight composure around them,” he added.
England wing Jonny May, who scored three times during the World Cup before the final loss to South Africa in November, echoed Amor’s thoughts.
“They can turn it on with a click of a finger,” May said.
“It’s a dangerous backline. Off-loading game, smart players, good decision makers, attacking kickers.
“When they get on the front foot the French are probably the best in the world at hitting gaps,” he added.
Former England and Team GB Sevens head coach Amor praised Vakatawa, who featured for Les Bleus in the shorter form of the sport at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
The Racing 92 centre has crossed seven times in 10 games for his club this season in his third campaign back in the longer format of the game.
“He was phenomenal for the French sevens team and was a constant threat. To see the progress and the transition he has made and to take that attacking threat into the 15-a-side game has been excellent,” Amor said.
“He is a danger man and is playing well at the moment as well. We’re well aware of that. We have some great players ourselves. We think we’re able to contain him,” he added.