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In that event it will be more a reflection of how the England squad has been turned inside out and upside down than any comment on the French President’s knowledge of who’s who among the Red Roses beyond the Euro zone at Twickenham.
Their team for Sunday is unlikely to bear even the faintest resemblance to the last winning English one in Paris in 2008, a time when the new President hadn’t long got his feet under the table at the Elysee Palace.
Four years, all it takes for the Olympic wheel to turn full circle, may not be very long in the great scheme of things but in rugby, particularly English rugby, it can feel like an eternity.
Not a single member of the starting XV at the Stade de France on February 23, 2008 has won a first-team place for any of the first three rounds of the current RBS 6 Nations.
The majority of the England team that night are to be found plying their trade overseas, not so much a collective case of out of sight, out of mind more a recognition from many that their Test futures are behind them.
Threequarters of the threequarters from 2008 are in France – Paul Sackey (Stade Francais), Jamie Noon (Brive), Lesley Vainikolo (La Rochelle).
The full back, Iain Balshaw (Biarritz) and the fly half, Jonny Wilkinson (Toulon) are also in France. Andrew Sheridan, on the loosehead four years ago, is preparing to make tracks for the Cote d’Azure this summer along with his fellow Lion, Gethin Jenkins. The other members of the front row, Mark Regan and Phil Vickery, have retired.
As for the locks, the ageless Simon Shaw is also down on the Mediterranean shoving Toulon ever closer to the play-offs while Steve Borthwick, then the captain, continues to bust a gut for Saracens some two years after ex-manager Martin Johnson dropped him, not just from the team but from the entire squad.
The back row have all gone, James Haskell to the Highlanders via Japan and Michael Lipman to the Melbourne Rebels. Nick Easter has gone too, as far as England is concerned, but has stayed put at Harlequins.
Richard Wigglesworth, the scrum half whose late try clinched the last Paris win, is in the throes of recovering from knee surgery which leaves Toby Flood on his own as the sole starter from that match to be found in the current squad. A pre-tournament injury, the advent of Owen Farrell and recall of Charlie Hodgson have conspired to disrupt the Leicester stand-off’s quest for reinstatement as England’s No. 10. England's decision to release him back to Leicester means that instead of lining up among the 23 in Paris Flood will be on duty for the Tigers in their LV=Cup semi-final against Bath.
In marked contrast, the majority of the losing French team of 2008 are still in national harness with Cedric Heymans, David Marty, Damian Traille and Lionel Faure the only absentees.
England may not care to admit as much publicly but they will not be complaining at Dimitri Yachvili’s continuing absence from an unchanged squad despite a prodigious 25-point come-back for Biarritz in last Saturday’s crucial bonus-point home win over Begles-Bordeaux.
There have been times when the Basque club’s scrum-half has given a mighty impression of playing England on his own, most notably with a try and five goals in the 24-21 home win in Paris six years ago.
The Gallic Grand Slam may have gone but there is still the championship to be won provided head coach Philippe Saint-Andre gets more out of his team than he did against Ireland last Sunday.
How ironic that, after their serial beatings at the Stade de France since the advent of the Six Nations, the Irish should end up feeling short-changed by a draw. At half-time, 17-6 to the good, Ireland had never been so far ahead in Paris since they last won there 40 years ago.
Despite the rain and the result, President Sarkozy made a point of visiting the home dressing-room to congratulate the French players for their ‘character.’ “The President was more happy than we were,” Saint-Andre said. “I’m not happy at all, not with the way we started the game.”
If Tommy Bowe continues against Scotland in Dublin on Saturday where he left off in Paris, the wing who holds the distinction of being the only international from the county of Monaghan will be holding, or at the very least sharing another.
Five tries from three matches leaves him one short of equalling the Six Nations record for the most in one season, set by England’s Will Greenwood at six in 2000 and equalled by the incomparable Shane Williams in 2008 and by England wing Chris Ashton last year.
Ireland will trust that Bowe preserves his record of never failing to score against the Scots in Dublin. He got two there in a thumping win at Croke Park four years ago followed by one more at the same venue on the day when Dan Parks’ last-minute penalty secured a famous Scottish victory.
If by Saturday night he ends up with a share of the individual record, Bowe will not need to be reminded of the supporting role played unwittingly by Aurelien Rougerie. whose careless pass in the thirteenth minute last Sunday had intercept try written all over it before Bowe helped himself.
Ireland’s defensive operation after their lead had been wiped out prompted Saint-Andre to pay them the compliment of introducing Lionel Beauxis fully twelve minutes before the end, a tacit admission that France were only going to win the match by dropping a goal.
The first Beauxis attempt having turned out to be as near subterranean as possible, the second did get off the ground only to be blocked by the gigantic Stephen Ferris.
Paris had not witnessed a draw in the championship since David Duckham’s converted try ensured England did not return empty-handed in March 1974 on the day of the Turkish Airlines disaster which killed all 346 on board including the Bury St. Edmunds rugby team and John Cooper, the 1964 Olympic 400 metre silver medallist in Tokyo.
Sunday’s stalemate satisfied neither team and served only to tighten Wales’ worthy grip on the championship. It will take an upset of monumental proportion to prevent the leaders beating Italy at the start of their home finish before returning to the Millennium Stadium the following Saturday to play France surely for a third Grand Slam in seven years.