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Six tries conceded in two Six Nations games, following on from November when they were opened up by the Aussies for a magnificent seven. You'd wonder how defence coach Dave Ellis is explaining all of this. And yet they're up there with England at the break and potentially have much more to offer than Martin Johnson's mob.

Starting in last season's tournament, Marc Lievremont stopped the messing around and used a conservative 22 players across his five starting teams. The spine of the team from Poitrenaud to Servat remained unchanged throughout. Again this season he has stuck largely to a sensible plan, bar his obsession with playing Damien Traille anywhere and everywhere.

Nor will there be any sweeping change for Twickenham. You wonder how good they could be if the coach could repair his relationship with Mathieu Bastareaud -- or if he could just agree to disagree, but get the centre to drop a few pounds? They may get through the Six Nations without him but to threaten at the World Cup something will have to change.

Sunday Indo Sport