Jamie George believes a trip to face a fearsome France pack will be an ideal way for England to rebound from World Cup final heartache.
George started at hooker as Eddie Jones’ charges were overpowered and outplayed by South Africa in Yokohama last November, eventually losing 32-12.
The 29-year-old, who returned from Japan into the storm of Saracens’ ongoing salary-cap saga, admitted that he has struggled to understand England’s below-par performance against the Springboks.
Still, he suggested that opening the Six Nations by tussling with Jefferson Poirot, Camille Chat, Demba Bamba and the rest of Fabien Galthié’s young, dynamic forwards would be a welcome challenge.
“It’s difficult, really,” George said. “Whenever you lose a game there are always a million answers to what went wrong and you are always thinking about the what-ifs. You would like to be given another opportunity, but unfortunately the nature of sport is that you don’t get one.
“In the same vein, if given the opportunity, one thing that excites me is that there are a lot of parallels between playing South Africa in a World Cup final and playing France away in Paris.
“It’ll be a pretty hostile environment against big men, they similar brand of rugby as they put you under pressure at scrum time and take you on physically. So that is in the back of my mind – what an exciting prospect, because it is almost like ‘what if I had my time again?’
“We can’t change what happened in the final, but what we can do is make a statement in our first game back and show we are not moping around, that we have moved on and this is the start of a new, four-year campaign.”
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