Magne takes shot at dour England

OLIVIER MAGNE has stoked the fires ahead of France's RBS 6 Nations Championship showdown with England by accusing the world champions of a lack of creativity.

The 32-year-old flanker has first-hand experience of English rugby after joining London Irish from Clermont-Auvergne and believes the stereotypes usually associated with the game in its homeland are not without foundation.

"English rugby is based on physical strength, discipline, seriousness and determination," he said.

"Commitment has to be present even in training, that's why they are always ready for the fights and victories on the pitch.

"However they struggle to get out of their pre-established game plan. They can get easily lost when they are unsettled - they probably lack creativity."

Les Bleus go into Sunday's Stade de France clash on the back of three wins in their last four Six Nations meetings with England and will need to extend their dominance over Andy Robinson's men if they are to keep their tournament hopes alive.

Veteran Magne, now capped 85 times, made his return to Six Nations action against Ireland on February 11 after a chaotic 2005 season which saw him suffer a serious foot injury and leave France for England.

And if he thought his rollercoaster season had ended there, he was in for a surprise as Les Bleus have both thrilled and dismayed in their Jekyll-and-Hyde victories over Ireland and Italy.

Magne knows France will need to piece together the positive aspects of these matches if they are going to be successful this weekend.

"We are going to try to combine our good performances from our first half against Ireland and our second half aganst Italy, then we should be fine," he said.

"A win would erase some of the disappointment of our previous performances. We will have to show a lot of motivation, enthusiasm and positivity, whatever happens.

"The most determined side will win the match. The objective is to keep possession as much as possible.

"It will be tight but we must win to keep our hopes of winning the tournament alive."

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