Six Nations: Brad Barritt relishing Mathieu Bastareaud test

Last Updated: 20/02/13 5:40pm

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Brad Barritt: ready for French battle alongside Manu Tuilagi

Brad Barritt: ready for French battle alongside Manu Tuilagi

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Brad Barritt is confident England can cope with the physical threat posed by the French midfield at Twickenham on Saturday.

Barritt was key to England's success in neutralising the attacking threat of Ireland's creative stars Brian O'Driscoll and Gordon D'Arcy in Dublin two weeks ago, but France will pose some very different questions.

Mathieu Bastareaud, the 18st 2lb Toulon powerhouse, has beaten more defenders than any other player in the Six Nations so far but Barritt feels he and likely partner Manu Tuilagi can keep the giant in check.

Barritt said: "Bastareaud is a big physical presence but size isn't everything in rugby. If we get our line speed right the biggest guys can fall just as hard.

"That is something we work hard on as a team, getting our line speed right and not allowing teams to get any momentum.

"The way we applied pressure on the Irish and intensity in the kick chase were monumental to our success in Dublin. We are confident because of what we have done - but we are aware we need to improve because we expect a resurgent France team at Twickenham.

"Everyone enjoys a fast attacking game but you can also enjoy grinding out a win and being a pillar of strength - defend and lead from the front. I like to think I'm adaptable and can play what's in front of me.

"As long as you have the respect of the team you are in and the people you play for, that is what matters. It may take longer for others to see it but you need to be true to yourself and keep working because, eventually, people will see it.

"You just have to ensure you are doing your best for the side every day. I am very satisfied so far."

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