Martin Johnson is making his first trip of the season to France for tonight's Top 14 clash between Stade Francais and Brive.
The England manager has decided to join forwards coaches John Wells and Graham Rowntree in travelling to watch a game that could feature up to five current England players.
James Haskell and Tom Palmer moved from Wasps to Stade Francais in the summer while Jamie Noon joined the exodus and linked up with Andy Goode and Steve Thompson at Brive.
None of the players on show are in the current 32-man elite England squad.
Up until now, Johnson has studied the performances of his France-based players on video but was keen to take in a live game this evening.
"It is a good chance to go and watch some of the guys and to watch two of the top French teams. You get a sense of what they are doing over there," said Johnson.
The trip to Paris may also help Johnson build a relationship with the new Stade Francais coaching team of Jacques Delmas and Didier Faugeron, who were brought in after Ewen McKenzie was sacked.
Johnson and McKenzie had forged a close understanding over what they wanted from a player like Haskell, who has dropped out of the senior England squad.
Haskell believes his game has already improved since his move to France and he will be keen to prove it again tomorrow night with autumn internationals against Australia, Argentina and New Zealand looming.
"When I came here I'd been dropped by England, I'd missed out on the Lions tour and my Wasps place was rickety," said Haskell.
"I came here for a change and to become a new man. I'm loving it and I'm playing good rugby. The reason I came out here was that I wanted to let my rugby do the talking.
"I'd be disappointed if I get to the end of the season without playing for England."
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21 April 2017, 7:22pm
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