Stan Hey: 6-5 Against

England can expose French pretensions
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The Independent Online

It's possible that England's rugby squad spent some time last night watching Al Murray on DVD, given the insults that French coach Marc Lièvremont had hurled England's way last week.

Borrowing some banter from The Pub Landlord could help in the scrum – "The Eiffel Tower, what's that about? All you can see from the top is Paris... it's a tragic waste of f***ing Meccano. They've lost it, the French."

Well, we'll know at 7pm tonight whether the French team have lost it in the meeting between the two unbeaten sides in the Six Nations Championship. In my estimation, the French realisation of England's new power came in their narrow 12-10 victory in Paris last year. England played fluent rugby and Ben Foden scored a scything try. A year on, England have developed an appealing balance: forwards who are mobile, backs with size as well as speed. I expect England to win – £20 at 4-9, generally – and £10 on the handicap (-7 points) at 5-4 with Stan James.

Patriotic expectations are a little lower for the ICC World Cup game against India tomorrow, England having played against the Netherlands as if they'd just stepped off the plane. A better performance is on the cards but India look stronger all round – £20 win at 1-2 with 32 Red.

Today's main race, the Racing Post Chase at Kempton, boasts a big field of promising jumpers and the money goes on Philip Hobbs' Quinz, £10 win at 7-1 (Ladbrokes).

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