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Six Nations: Andy Farrell tips France to help England win title on Saturday

Last Updated: 14/03/14 4:51pm

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Andy Farrell: France can hand us the title

Andy Farrell: France can hand us the title

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Backs coach Andy Farrell believes England will win the Six Nations - with a little help from France on Saturday.

What promises to be a thrilling final day of this year's competition kicks off at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome where England are expected to beat Italy comfortably.

Wales then take on Scotland next with only pride at stake, but the England squad will attend a post-match function to watch France play Ireland in the final match of the tournament.

Offering the most realistic chance of a first Six Nations crown under Lancaster is France spoiling Brian O'Driscoll's international farewell and being crowned champions on points difference.

France have failed to impress this year and are under pressure to deliver one big performance from an increasingly critical press and public.

Victory over the Irish, who have not won in Paris since 2000, would put them in the frame for an unlikely title, given that they snatched victory late against England and Scotland, and were hammered in Cardiff.

The tension is getting to the players - veteran prop Nicolas Mas stormed out of a press conference this week after being repeatedly quizzed about France's poor performances in the scrum.

Farrell senses they are ready to do England a favour - six weeks after destroying their Grand Slam dream.

"We've got a good chance of winning the title because the French are at their best when their backs are against the wall," he said.

Questions

"A few questions have been asked of the French team recently and it's all come to bit of a head this week with people walking out of press conferences because they're being challenged.

"When you get the French in that type of situation, they can be very dangerous.

"We've got a good chance of winning the title because the French are at their best when their backs are against the wall."
Andy Farrell

"It's out of our hands and we can only concentrate on our match and make sure we look after ourselves and make sure we do the business.

"That's what we're focusing on. Obviously we'll be excited to watch the other game as part of the England camp, but also as a rugby spectator. It's an intriguing day ahead."

Manu Tuilagi is the matchday 23 for the first time since last year's Six Nations after recovering from a chest muscle injury.

He will start on the bench and Farrell is confident the Leicester centre will impress if and when he comes on.

"Hopefully Manu will make an impact. That's why he's there," Farrell said. "He's had a lot to cover this week and is very comfortable within that. He's ready to go and is champing at the bit," he said.

"We'll wait to see what time we bring him on in the game, we'll need to see how the game goes first and foremost.

"He's in tremendous nick and looks to be in as good as nick as I've ever seen him. He seems to be in a condition of a guy who wants to come back with a bang.

"We were very impressed with him last week within training. He fitted in very quickly and very comfortably and we couldn't ignore him in selection this week."

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