Catt wary of French backlash
Published 22/02/2013 | 15:56
Mike Catt has warned England that the "wounded" French will pose them a unique test at Twickenham in Saturday's RBS 6 Nations showdown.
But the England skills coach is confident his men have the proven ability to cope with whatever the unpredictable French throw at them. Catt's confidence is born of England's contrasting victories over Scotland and Ireland, which has seen them installed as favourites for the Six Nations title.
"We lost against Australia and South Africa (in November) and then came back to beat the All Blacks - they (the French) are in the same position," Catt said.
"They are a wounded animal, they are a very proud nation and they enjoy playing against the English. It is a big one at Twickenham. As a team we have grown. We showed a lot of maturity in that Ireland win.
"They will probably throw something at us that we haven't experienced before. It is about how quickly we adapt to it and the players have done exceptionally well on the field, making those decisions and coming up with solutions. It is massively exciting and a massive learning step going forward."
England have won their last three Tests, including the record triumph over New Zealand, and their last four matches in the Six Nations. Only once before, between 2002 and 2004, have England enjoyed a longer winning streak in the championship.
"For us it is the next challenge," said captain Chris Robshaw.
"They come to Twickenham on the back of two losses. We have been in the situation where people start to write you off and they will come here and give it a real go.
"We have looked all week on how we can improve on the Ireland game and hopefully we can take that into the game.
"We are in a good place."