Ashton bullish over French semi-final

ENGLAND today moved into World Cup semi-final mode, with head coach Brian Ashton claiming: "We have a team to trouble the French."While most red rose supporters would have anticipated a showdown against New Zealand at Stade de France next Saturday night, England's biggest Six Nations rivals now loom large.

ENGLAND today moved into World Cup semi-final mode, with head coach Brian Ashton claiming: "We have a team to trouble the French."

While most red rose supporters would have anticipated a showdown against New Zealand at Stade de France next Saturday night, England's biggest Six Nations rivals now loom large.

Both previous World Cup meetings - in 1991 and 2003 - went England's way, although France recorded back-to-back tournament warm-up victories over them during the summer.

Following yesterday's nail-biting 12-10 victory over Australia, Ashton said: "We can compete at the same level as France, there is no doubt in my mind about that.


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"We should have beaten them at Twickenham in August - I know that, and the players know that.

"We will go into the game with every confidence we have a team to trouble the French.''

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