John Mitchell backs England to ‘dial it up again’ against France

England have won the last 12 meetings in the fixture but France remain their fiercest rivals.

England head coach John Mitchell
England head coach John Mitchell (Gareth Fuller/PA)

John Mitchell has warned France that England are ready to “dial it up again” when the rivals clash in Saturday’s Grand Slam decider in Bordeaux.

The Red Roses flattened Ireland 88-10 at Twickenham in round four, their attack igniting to run in 14 tries and place them one victory away from clinching a sixth successive Guinness Women’s Six Nations title.

France, ranked third in the world, are a far tougher proposition but Mitchell insists England will continues to push the boundaries in their pursuit of an all-action type of rugby that will fill stadiums.

“We’re very specific in the way that we will play. It’s a game that’s working and we think it’s the right way,” the head coach said.

“We’ve got better as the tournament has progressed and who said there are limits on the style that we produced last weekend?

“We have the ability to dial it up again. It certainly won’t be stopping. It will continue to evolve.

“It’s challenged a lot of the girls. They fully understand where we’re heading but this group sets such high standards that they will never be satisfied. We’ll always want to get better.”

England have won the last 12 meetings in the fixture but France remain their fiercest rivals and will provide a hostile reception for Marlie Packer’s side in what is expected to be close to a 34,462 full house at the Stade Chaban-Delmas.

The two sides will meet again in September but their immediate objective is completing the Grand Slam.

“We’ve been expecting an arm-wrestle for some time. We’ve been wanting that, we’ve been asking for it and we are certainly going to get in on the weekend,” Mitchell said.

“This game is going to give us really good feedback. It’s important to experience that and it will hold us in good stead. We’ve got a tough summer coming up and this is a good start to it.

“France have got their way. They’ll be buoyed by the fact they’re at home but we’re actually looking forward to embracing that challenge.

“It’s another full capacity stadium, which gives us energy too. That’s what drives the girls – they want to play in front of full capacity.”

England have made two changes for their final assignment of the tournament with Amy Cokayne returning from suspension to replace ankle-injury victim Lark Atkin-Davies.

Abbie Ward is drafted into the second row after Rosie Galligan was ruled out by thumb damage sustained against Ireland.