Mike PHILLIPS and Dan CARTER - Interview
DAN CARTER tells MIKE PHILLIPS: 'England are in the driving seat for the Grand Slam... But let's hope the French can trip them up!
It’s the calm before the storm in Paris as France await the arrival of England for Saturday’s Grand Slam showdown.
Sportsmail columnist Mike Phillips plays scrum-half alongside All Blacks fly-half legend Dan Carter for Racing 92 in Paris.
The two friends caught up over coffee in the French capital to discuss whether Eddie Jones’ side can finish the job, or if Les Bleus will turn up to spoil the party.
PHILLIPS: I've retired from Wales so it’s been the first Six Nations without me for more than a decade. The viewing figures may have suffered, but what have you made of it?
CARTER: I thought you’d retired two or three years ago (laughs). To be honest, I didn't watch too many of the Six Nations games back in New Zealand.
The coaches take a huge interest in it, though. I know All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has been over to watch.
Since I've been in France, I've followed the games and it has been awesome to see how much it means because of the history.
PHILLIPS: England are in the driving seat for the Grand Slam. France have not clicked yet but England have tripped up at the final hurdle before.
Maybe there’ll be doubt in their minds. Can you see Eddie Jones’ side losing in Paris?
CARTER: France have to pull something out if they’re going to stop England. If you’re looking purely at form, England should come here and win. But you never know with this French side; there’s so much inconsistency. They have done it in the past though. Let’s hope the French can trip them up!
PHILLIPS: So you’ll be cheering on the Racing 92 boys?
CARTER: Well they've got Max Machenaud, who’s a really good No 9 from Racing. He’s been away with France and suddenly YOU are getting some game time (laughs)!
He’s a small fella, but he can match it with the big boys and directs the game really well. Wenceslas Lauret is a mad d