Thierry Dusautoir has hailed Twickenham as a “temple of rugby” that he hopes will inspire his side with a “healthy fear” ahead of the Six Nations match against England on Saturday.
France have only managed three wins at England’s headquarters since their 9-9 draw in 1985 and their overall record stands at just 10 wins from 41 visits to London.
Stuart Lancaster’s side are heavy favourites with the bookmakers to extend England’s winning run at home to France since 2005, but Dusautoir believes his side can salvage their campaign with a victory after shock defeats by Italy and Wales.
“I want us to play with freedom, with a lack of pressure,” the Toulouse flanker said. “We have a healthy fear. I’m not really speaking of fear, more excitement.
"Twickenham is a temple of rugby. Very few French players know what it’s like to win here. It would be great to join that group. We’ve always had the ability to raise our game for Le Crunch. This is a match that can define your career.
“I have complete confidence in this team. I hope to be talking tomorrow about why the French team is a paradox. The most important thing is that we expect to win.
"The most important pressure is the pressure that we can put on our shoulders. We are going to pay attention to our team, to about what we have prepared for this game and that will be enough.”
Dusautoir is hoping France can emulate the side of 2011 that defeated England in the World Cup quarter-finals on the way to the final despite a shock defeat by Tonga.
“For sure I hope it will be the same result," he added. "But it’s a new team, it’s totally different, it’s a young team. Maybe at the World Cup we had more experience and we knew how difficult it was to be in this kind of situation.
"Maybe right now it’s different, that’s why we are focused to play the best rugby we can tomorrow. We have to be really, really good because the English team is very impressive.”
The Daily Telegraph