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Thursday 14 December 2017

French wary of Wilko threat in Paris climax

France coach Marc Lievremont has singled out Jonny Wilkinson as the man to fear the most in the England side ahead of their final Six Nations clash at the Stade de France on Saturday.

Wilkinson might yet be ruled out of the clash after picking up an injury against Scotland -- and could even be left out on the basis of form -- but Lievremont is well aware of the danger the Toulon fly-half poses. "The number 10 is traditionally an important player," said the France boss. "We have the advantage of knowing him well. We are telling ourselves that we will be facing the best Jonny Wilkinson.

"He has the potential to make his team win. We know his talents as a competitor but we are not going to concentrate on one player. We have to also watch out for the scrum-half and the wings."

Les Bleus could already be Six Nations champions by the time they take to the pitch on Saturday night, with Ireland's match against Scotland taking place nearly three hours earlier.

However Lievremont, whose team trounced Italy on Sunday to leave them within touching distance of glory, feels it would mean little without the Grand Slam crown.

"We have talked about it since the presentation of shirts," he said. "We were drunk with excitement before the match.

"It was one of the objectives from the beginning of the year. Even though mathematically we can think we'll win the tournament, to do so without the Grand Slam would be a huge disappointment."

After last year's hefty 34-10 defeat at Twickenham, Les Bleus are gunning for revenge in a match many think the French will win.

Lievremont added: "England are a team with enormous potential. We all remember the last England-France match, last year at Twickenham. We haven't beaten them for three years. It would be good to do so before the 2011 World Cup."

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