Former England captain Sue Day believes the RBS 6 Nations title will go down to the wire - but insists a winner takes all clash with France will be just the test they need in a World Cup year.
With just two points between the sides after three games and very winnable clashes against Scotland (for England) and Italy (for France) in the penultimate round of fixtures next weekend the stage is set for a thrilling finale.
If the two sides make it through the respective games England will travel to the Stade Velodrome in Rennes on March 19 knowing a win will clinch their fifth consecutive Six Nations crown.
And with the World Cup on home soil this year Day believes an Anglo-French showdown would be the perfect warm up.
“England will undoubtedly be favourites for that one,” said Day. “But France, in France, in front of a partisan crowd at the Stade Velodrome, banging the hoardings and booming out the Marseillaise, is a test of any team.
“Exactly the kind of test that England need to pass to show themselves that they have what it takes to win when it comes to the crunch a few months further down the line.”