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Six Nations: England wings Jack Nowell and Jonny May given free rein to attack France

Last Updated: 31/01/14 9:58pm

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Jack Nowell: Making his England debut in Paris

Jack Nowell: Making his England debut in Paris

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Mike Catt has revealed that young England wings Jack Nowell and Jonny May have been asked to attack France at every opportunity in Saturday's Six Nations opener in Paris.

Nowell will win his first Test cap at the Stade de France following a string of impressive performances for Exeter this season, while May has scored a number of tries from distance for Gloucester.

May will win his second England cap in Paris, and attacking skills coach Catt is excited by the prospect of two dynamic youngsters trying to unsettle the France defence.

"Something we've reiterated to the players is if it's on, then go. They make their decision - whatever they see they should do," Catt said.

"Something we've reiterated to the players is if it's on, then go. They make their decision - whatever they see they should do."
Mike Catt

"If Jonny sees something then he goes, guys have to react around him. Jonny's there on merit and for how he plays his game. We don't want him to change the way he plays."

Catt is also wary of the strength of the France pack, and he predicted the game could be decided in the final stages.

"France have picked a six-two bench so you know what's coming," Catt added. "They're big, physical guys and for you to break them down will take until the 70th to 75th minute. I think the game will be won in that final 10-15 minutes.

Smart

"You've got to be smart. Just because we have good attacking runners doesn't mean we run everything. It's about getting the balance right.

"Players are getting bigger and more agile and you're tight five are a lot more mobile than they were seven or eight years ago.

"Your centres are the size of your back row, your wings are the size of your back row, so try getting through that brick wall.

"There's a massive emphasis on defence at the moment and you have to break that down. It's hard."

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