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Page last updated at 11:26 GMT, Monday, 21 February 2011

France do not like 'English', says Marc Lievremont

RBS Six Nations: England v France
Venue: Twickenham Date: Saturday, 26 February Kick-off: 1700 GMT
Coverage: Watch on BBC One, BBC HD channel, Red Button and BBC Sport website; post-match forum 1900-1930; listen on BBC Radio 5 live & online; text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobiles

France coach Marc Lievremont
Lievremont believes England are in World Cup mode

France coach Marc Lievremont has stoked the fire ahead of the Six Nations match against England on Saturday by saying he does not like the "English".

Both teams have 100% records after two games and their meeting will be vital in deciding the Six Nations champions.

"We don't like them [the English] and it's better to say that than be hypocritical," said Lievremont.

"We respect them - well in my case at least I do. But you couldn't say we have the slightest thing in common."

Lievremont also believes France will have the backing of the rest of the countries in the Six Nations when it comes to the eagerly anticipated match against England manager Martin Johnson's side at Twickenham.

We can feel that all of the English players are physically on a different level

France coach Marc Lievremont

"We appreciate our Italian cousins with whom we share the same quality of life," said Lievremont.

"We appreciate the Celts and their conviviality and then among all these nations we have one huge thing in common. We all don't like the English.

"We beat Ireland yet left Dublin with the encouragement of all the Irish who said 'for pity's sake, beat the English'.

"With the Scots, it's the same thing. It is also what gives you strength against the English, more than just because of rugby."

Despite his dislike of the "English", Lievremont is aware of the challenge that England will pose.

"This insular country, who always drape themselves in the national flag, their hymns, their chants, their traditions. They are people who one regards as a very proud people," he said.

"But we are also very aware, in terms of planning and preparation, that the English are already in 2011 World Cup mode.

"We can feel that all of the English players are physically on a different level."

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see also
'Big boys' England await France
19 Feb 11 |  Rugby Union
England-France is 'title decider'
14 Feb 11 |  Rugby Union
Moody tipped for England comeback
19 Feb 11 |  English

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