Why did you choose to bring the 23 winning players back to Cardiff last Sunday? Fabien Galthié: Firstly for their performance in Wales; then because no one is injured; finally because with a shorter preparation, it is better to play two matches in six days with the same team.

This is the first time, since you have been coach, that you have brought back the same 23 players. This must delight the “conservative” that you are? Yes, but because the team produced a great performance in Wales despite having moved around a lot. We chose to do things gently and consistently. We preferred to see what was happening on the ground and not make decisions… (He stops). The most important moment of this Tournament was when we made two teams in training last week. And what we saw that day, we found at the Millennium. We managed to re-mobilize our team collectively. There was real competition, no player gave up, everyone wanted to get the jersey. When you open the doors and see that it responds immediately, it’s a big “love” in quotes. But this team now has a new challenge to face: responding again against England just six days later.

Did you, at the start of the Tournament, underestimate the lack of physical and mental freshness of the World Cup players? No, we did not underestimate it. There were two schools… But we will plan on analyzing our choices after this France-England. It’s not yet time to take stock.

What do you particularly fear in this England team? We find an explosive, powerful, solid English team, which excels in the hand-foot alternation. Who constantly puts pressure on the opponent, between defensive climbs and kicking games.

Against the Welsh, there were again these defensive weaknesses in midfield. Did you emphasize this sector before this Crunch? It’s not the same opponent profile, we did not emphasize defense before facing Wales but on other sectors. There, yes, we will need to be precise on certain points, in particular the defense and the confrontation zone. We will have to be solid and compact because it will hit hard, and repeatedly, on the midfield. So, yes, we will have to respond more, certainly, than we have done before…

And how can we get rid of the English defense that stifled the Irish last weekend? Their rush defense is identified. They chose to copy South Africa, to throw themselves at the opponent, to take up space and leave little time to choose. We prepare to respond to these attacks, with and without the ball. To win, you will have to move forward, one way or another. And therefore constantly seek to reverse the pressure. What will count is the energy we put into it. The intensity fought, whether on the ground, man-to-man and in the air, is going to be enormous…

Do the English come with the desire to take revenge for their terrible defeat (53-10) at Twickenham last year? It’s possible. We prepared for a well-identified opponent who is coming off a huge performance against Ireland and a World Cup semi-final lost by one point to South Africa. A team full of confidence which is becoming the great team in England again.

Depending on whether the outcome of this Crunch is positive or negative, it will completely change the outcome of this Tournament… We are approaching this week to live it to the fullest. We are focused on immediacy with only one training session on Wednesday. The rest, we’ll talk about it later.