- England lock Tom Palmer previews France quarter final clash
- They can go from the sublime to the ridiculous – Palmer
Tom Palmer feels that France’s poor form during the group stages of the RWC will count for very little when they take on England in the quarter-final at Auckland’s Eden Park.
Though Les Bleus will come into the clash on the back of an unprecedented loss to Tonga to cap off an underwhelming series of showings in Pool A, Palmer was certain that Mark Lièvremont’s men could conjure an irresistible performance this weekend.
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“You can never pre-judge the French,” said the lock, who plays his club rugby for Stade Francais in the Top 14 and came on as a second-half replacement during England’s 16-12 win over Scotland on Saturday.
“They are an enigmatic side and can go from the sublime to the ridiculous, so we cannot take them lightly. We will prepare like we would for any Test match.
“That makes it slightly difficult but we will look at a lot of their games – not just at this World Cup but in the warm-up matches too (in August), when they turned over Ireland at home (19-12) and away (26-22).”
Having beaten France in the knockout stages at the last two World Cups, the omens are rosy for England heading into this weekend’s contest. However, Palmer was very eager to guard against complacency.
“What happened four years ago doesn’t count for a lot,” the 32 year-old explained. “I don’t think there were many players in either squad playing back then.
“(Losing) can work for you or against you. It could be that they come together as a group. That happened for England after a really bad defeat to South Africa four years ago.”