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With England the only other team boasting a 100per cent record, a potential Grand Slam decider may be decided at ‘Le Crunch’ on the Stade de France – a venue Ashton recorded 24-13 and 14-9 victories as England boss in the 2008 Six Nations and 2007 World Cup Semi-Final respectively.
Both wins Ashton believes were built upon establishing an early lead to silence the hostile Parisian crowd and he has urged more teams to try and go toe-to-toe with France’s attacking flair.
He said: “They are starting to look formidable – they still have a very powerful pack with the usual magic in their backs.
“It strikes me that Marc Lievremont’s experimentation has finished and he now knows what his best team actually is.
“Crucially he has been allowed to lose games because it looks like the French union who seem prepared to move backwards in order to move forwards.
“But if you are not afraid to play them at their own game, playing it quickly and going wide, then their defensive discipline can be stretched to the limit.
“That’s the one thing in their first match, the Scots were able to make a number of line breaks but I think they were surprised that they made them because they could not get enough players supporting the runner in time.
“The key thing was when you play them in their stadium is getting the first score of their game.
“Parisian crowds are not known for their forgiving nature and they can turn on their team very quickly.
“When France’s crowd is behind them they are a 16th man but when it is against them then it is a massive handicap.
“I think they felt the pressure as favourites with all the expectation having beaten the All Blacks than we did and if a team can get an early lead it will be interesting to see how they react.”
Another man who enjoyed an unbridled run of success against the Les Bleus was English lock Wayne Dooley who won eight straight games in the early 1990s and earned the nickname ‘the Monster’ amongst the French press.
Key to that success was the antagonism employed by the English front five – a tactic Dooley believes cannot be repeated in the modern era.
He said: “In the professional era, it is much harder to get away with because there are so many more eyes on every play.
“During the 1970s and 1980s France were dominant over the English but we used provocation to turn the tables on them.
“Brian Moore would start winding them up in the press before hand and the first thing we decided to do from kick-off was stick a high ball up Serge Blanco and get eight forwards running over the top of him.
“They reacted accordingly because they hated seeing their favourite player getting roughed up and in the dark sinister world of the front five there was a lot of other stuff that went on that would make them boil over.
“There was one game in 1992 in the Parc de Princes where they had two players sent off including their hooker Vincent Moscato. His eyes were on their stems, his veins were popping out and he was in practically in tears of anger because he was so frustrated.
“I always took it was a compliment they called me the Monster and it would be nice to some of the current England players pick up a similar nickname.”