Eddie Jones says England need to be ‘brutal’ when they face a test of their “manhood” against France in Paris on Saturday in the Six Nations.
England coach Jones is looking for his side to revive their Six Nations title defence following their 25-13 defeat to Scotland that placed Ireland in the driving seat.
“We have to be brutal against the French. You know every time you play France it’s a test of your manhood,” Jones said.
“You hear those old stories from club rugby when at the kick-off they deliberately kick it into touch because they want to scrum you.
“It’s not like that now but there are still areas of their game that decide how much energy they have got, so we have got to beat them in those areas – on the gainline and in the scrum.
Eddie Jones talks Jamie George's chance to shine in Dylan Hartley's absence and about Owen Farrell's leadership.
“It’s an important game for us to see how we respond from the loss against Scotland. It’s the first time we have had the team together after a loss.
“After a loss you are always a little bit more emotional – that’s the way life is.
“England and France is one of the more traditional rivalries. France are the European version of South Africa – they are big, physical and want to hurt you.”
Ireland could win the title by Saturday evening, impressing upon England the need to secure a try-scoring bonus-point from their Stade de France.
“It’s a Test match, we want to win it and that’s our first priority,” Jones said. “If we’re in a position where we need to push on for a bonus point we will do that, we do that in every Test match.”
Outside centre Ben Te’o has promised “fireworks” in the penultimate round of the 2018 Championship.
“There’s a lot of history behind this fixture, but first and foremost we’re looking at where we are in this competition and what this game means to us in term of trying to win this competition,” he said.
“We’re two physical teams across the water from each other, so obviously there are going to be fireworks.
“There’s a fierce rivalry and there have been plenty of great games. We’re two physical teams so I’m sure the fans can’t wait to see how it will play out.”