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Rowntree: Fans can boost England

Graham Rowntree has urged England fans to make France feel the opposition of a nation when they arrive at Twickenham for Saturday's RBS 6 Nations clash.

A three-way shootout for the title will see England, Ireland and Wales empty the tanks on a thrilling final afternoon of staggered kick-offs.

"I want the French to come to Twickenham and feel they are playing against a nation, not just 15 guys on the field," forwards coach Rowntree said.

"I'm sure the crowd will do that for us. They are going to be very important. We are lucky with the crowd at Twickenham. They'll be such a bonus for us."

France are the final opponents before England open preparations for the home World Cup with three warm-up games.

Winning the Six Nations would identify the Red Rose as the dominant force in the northern hemisphere, but Rowntree insists even if they are not crowned champions they have benefited from the tournament.

"If we don't win the title, it won't define us. We've shown what we can do in our performances," Rowntree said.

"We've scored 11 tries and probably should've scored 15-16. We're on the right track and that's very evident to us as coaches."


From Belfast Telegraph