Spurling ready for French test

Scott Spurling believes that England will need to be on top of their game when they take on France in the latest RBS under-20 Six Nations match tomorrow.

The Saracens star made his first start for the national team in last week's 42-7 victory over Italy in Rovigo in pursuit of a second consecutive grand slam.

"It was a good win but a scrappy game," said Spurling, who was replaced by Nathan Morris of London Wasps on 50 minutes after playing his part in the team's third straight victory in this year's tournament.

"There were not many phases of play until the last 15 minutes and it was hard for me to show the coach what I can do," he said.

"Italy were trying to win as many penalties as possible and get the ball to their wingers.

"They played well and I didn't think the scoreline gave a fair reflection."

Looking ahead to the weekend trip to the Stade de la Rabine in Vannes, the England hooker said: "It should be an interesting game. France will be up for it.

"They are a very passionate team who will be playing in front of their fans. I'm looking forward to it."

Spurling, who is 18 and from Edgware, believes England are well-placed to retain the Six Nations crown, but he says the squad are taking nothing for granted.

He said: "We'll take it game by game and hope everything falls into place."

    Last updated: 2:13pm, March 8 2012