Pointless Fixture Or A Farce?
Let’s Be Blunt Here
So, when I say pointless fixture, I don’t mean that there will be no points scored, in fact far from it. If anything it will be the total opposite and records could be broken.
Consider that England’s starting XV will have over 810 caps between them, so compare that to France’s 68. This indicates the clear divide in bother experience and quality of the players.
Thie Autumn Nations Cup final being played at Twickenham should see a clash of 2 titans in the Northern Hemisphere. The rugby powerhouses of Europe going head to head to see who will lift the crown here. With the resurgence of Argentina in the world fixtures beating the All Blacks and drawing with the Wallabies, the prospect of an enthralling World Cup has fans across the globe excited for the remaining fixtures of this year to be played.
Cast your mind way back to the start of the 2020 Six Nations, when France took the wind out of the English sail by inflicting an unexpected defeat on the England favourites. France went on to finish second in that tournament on points difference and this Autumn Nations Cup competition sees both teams in the final against each other. With Ireland not quite hitting the mark in either competition and Wales on a downward slope with 6 defeats on the bounce, maybe the next Six Nations will be between these 2 squads in action at Twickers?
What we now have here is a French team who will be captained by a player ( scrum-half Baptiste Couilloud ) earning his first ever international start. The most capped player in the team has 30 caps being the fullback Brice Dulin.
So What Happened?
An agreement basically between the French federation and the Top14 league, is what went wrong. This put into play a rule that meant players could each only play three international Tests during the autumn window. The result of this means due to these contractual obligations, French coach Fabien Galthie has lost close to 25 of his squad to choose from.
Does this mean England can go out there are rack up as many points as possible and be saluted for this? Or is this one of those damned if you do, damned if you don’t scenarios. Hammer the understrength team and you get slated by the press for taking advantage. Or you win by a handful of points and still get slated by press and pundits for not being clinical enough, not being dominant enough and not pressing home the advantages.
From a fan’s perspective, if I was buying tickets for a cup final, I’d be expecting both sides to field full teams. Turning up to what could be almost a training session isn’t what I’d have been wanting to see.
I hope for the sake of the sport that this is an entertaining fixture and the result is a fair outcome.