France vs England: Guinness Six Nations 2024 preview, team news, tickets and prediction


France versus England in the Guinness Six Nations, no matter if the fixture is played in London, or at a stadium in France, is one of the most anticipated of the season, no matter where these teams find themselves on the log.

Both want to get a victory over one of their fiercest rivals and on the 16 March in Lyon, they will go hammer and tongs at each other to ensure they are the winners come the final whistle.

This season is a case of what could have been for Fabien Galthie’s France, who along with Ireland, have one of the strongest squads. Their loss to Andy Farrell’s men, however, in the first game of the tournament, meant they were always hoping for an Irish slip-up further down the line.

For England, there have been some tough matches, but even in their first clash of this year’s tournament against Italy, where they secured a come-from-behind win, Steve Borwick’s charges, a squad in transition, have some resilience. In fact, they did it again against Wales in round 2 to secure a 16-14 win

There’s no doubt that this will be a colossal matchup between two tough adversaries.

Team News

Seeing that this is the final match of the Six Nations, and one that pits great rivals France and England against each other, both coaches will use nothing less than their strongest possible lineups for the clash at the Groupama Stadium in Lyon.

What those lineups are, remains to be seen as both sides have had some injury concerns throughout the tournament. England will surely opt for the experienced George Forde at flyhalf as he has impressed during the tournament, both with his general play as well as his goal-kicking. There’s always a call for Marcus Smith’s inclusion because he offers so much unpredictability on attack, but if he does make the run on team, it probably will be in the No. 15 jersey and not as a pivot. 

Galthie has brought numerous uncapped players in his first Guinness Six Nations squad after the World Cup, six in fact, but with a clash against the old enemy, don’t expect many of them to get a chance in the match day squad, unless injury plays a role. 

Skipper Gregory Aldritt has had some fitness issues during the tournament, but expect him to captain the side from No. 8, while France will also rely on the skills of winger Damian Penaud to give them a striking edge out wide. 

France’s Guinness Six Nations Squad

Forwards: Esteban Abadie (Toulon), Dorian Aldegheri (Toulouse), Gregory Alldritt (La Rochelle), Uini Atonio (La Rochelle), Cyril Baille (Toulouse), Gaetan Barlot (Castres),  Paul Boudehent (La Rochelle), Francois Cros (Toulouse), Paul Gabrillagues (Stade Francais), Matthias Halagahu (Toulon), Anthony Jelonch (Toulouse), Thomas Laclayat (Racing 92) , Julien Marchand (Toulouse), Peato Mauvaka (Toulouse), Emmanuel Meafou (Toulouse), Charles Ollivon (Toulon), Romain Taofifenua (Lyon), Sebastien Taofifenua (Lyon), Reda Wardi (La Rochelle), Cameron Woki (Racing 92).

Backs: Louis Bielle-Biarrey (Bordeaux-Bègles), Jonathan Danty (La Rochelle), Nicolas Depoortere (Bordeaux-Bègles), Gael Fickou (Racing 92), Emilien Gailleton (Pau), Antoine Gibert (Racing 92), Matthieu Jalibert (Bordeaux-Bègles), Melvyn Jaminet (Toulon), Nolann Le Garrec (Racing 92), Matthis Lebel (Toulouse), Maxime Lucu (Bordeaux-Bègles), Yoram Moefana (Bordeaux-Bègles), Damian Penaud (Bordeaux-Bègles), Thomas Ramos (Toulouse).

England’s Guinness Six Nations Squad

Forwards: Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Alex Coles (Northampton Saints), Luke Cowan-Dickie (Sale Sharks), Chandler Cunningham-South (Harlequins), Ben Curry (Sale Sharks), Theo Dan (Saracens), Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins), Ben Earl (Saracens), Ellis Genge (Bristol Bears), Jamie George (Saracens) – captain, Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers), Nick Isiekwe (Saracens), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Beno Obano (Bath Rugby), Tom Pearson (Northampton Saints), Ethan Roots (Exeter Chiefs), Will Stuart (Bath Rugby), Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby).

Backs: Oscar Beard (Harlequins), Danny Care (Harlequins), Elliot Daly (Saracens), Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints), Immanuel Feyi-Waboso (Exeter Chiefs), George Ford (Sale Sharks), Tommy Freeman (Northampton Saints), George Furbank (Northampton Saints), Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby), Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints), Tom Roebuck (Sale Sharks), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Fin Smith (Northampton Saints), Marcus Smith (Harlequins), Ben Spencer (Bath Rugby), Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers).

Match Tickets

France vs England tickets are still available, but selling out fast. This is always an encounter that’s provided incredible memories for supporters from both sides and you be sure, there will be a packed stadium when the game gets underway at the Groupama Stadium, Lyon on 16 March.

English tickets and hospitality packages are still available online, especially if you want to spend a few days over the channel in the French countryside. For those looking for French tickets just for the game, you’ll have to act as quickly as possible to secure them. 

Along with the matchup between Ireland and Scotland, this promises to be the best clash of the final weekend of the Guinness Six Nations, and both teams will want to win to secure the best possible log position for 2024. 


This is a tough clash to call. On paper, there’s no doubt that Galthie’s team is stronger than England, but as the old adage goes, a rugby match is not won on paper.

You see, while France might have the stronger team, and certainly more firepower than England, they aren’t always the most disciplined side in the world. That we saw in the opening encounter of the Guinness Six Nations when they faced Ireland in a clash that would go a long way to determining who would win the competition.

Ireland won with ease on the day, but one can only guess how much closer the match would have been if France had not lost lock Paul Willemse, who was sent off in the first half. It’s always tough to play a man down, especially against a team like Ireland. 

Should that ill-discipline come to the fore again, England possess in Ford, a flyhalf that will punish them with his accuracy off the tee. That’s something that France can ill afford on the day.

While England have shown glimpses of what they are capable of, even without Farrell, if France plays to their strengths and keeps their discipline, the fact that they are playing at home should secure the win for Les Bleus. 

It will be a close affair, and there won’t be much more than 10 points in it, however.

France 25-15 England