TOKYO, 8 Oct - Ben Youngs can only guess at what disruption Typhoon Hagibis might cause to England's final Pool C match on Saturday, but he is absolutely certain about the challenge he will face from France.
The approaching typhoon could affect the game in Yokohama, so England are preparing for a wet pitch and strong winds against a French side they overpowered 44-8 in the Six Nations at Twickenham in February.
Scrum-half Youngs, pictured, said: "There will be a lot of pick-and-goes from the forwards - if it arrives. One thing Eddie (Jones) has always said we have to be adaptable and make sure we're able to change things. When you wake up in the morning it could be different, so we'll just have to wait and see. We're anticipating rain and horrible conditions and we will train like that.
"The French team like to move the ball and once they get their tails up they’re dangerous, so we have to make sure that our pack is ready to go and we get them in the right areas of the field to do the damage."
Youngs is 30 years old and has won 92 caps but he remains a key figure in a youthful squad. He has faced France nine times, winning seven, and is well qualified to put February's victory into perspective. "I think France have changed quite a lot since then. We actually haven’t looked at that (Six Nations) game, we’ve looked at the games in the last two weeks that they have played, so we are not taking anything out of that.
"France have actually changed quite a little bit, with (coach) Fabien Galthie coming in. So we are focusing on the last two weeks and the Tonga game that they played most recently - all of us tuned in to watch that. France might use it (the 44-8 defeat) as motivation, but our motivation will be no different to always and we certainly won't be playing the same way as we did then. I imagine they will be preparing for that."
Having watched France's three victories, Youngs has identified key components in their attacking game which have benefited greatly from the introduction of former scrum-half Galthie to the coaching group. Youngs dismisses talk of unrest in the French camp, a focus for the media with the squad, as he heard similar tales before France knocked England out of Rugby World Cup 2011 at the quarter-final stage.
"France definitely have flair," he said. "Damian Penaud is a wonderful open-field runner, and in Virimi Vakatawa and Alivereti Raka they have some really dangerous flair. France have already qualified (for the quarter-finals) so they're a team playing with no consequences, which makes them extremely dangerous.
"We need to limit the number of rucks to try to get them away from that contact area. I'm assuming Antoine Dupont will play at No.9 and he is a wonderful player who moves the point of attack really well. They still have that ability and when their tails are up you can see the type of try they scored against Argentina.They offload, everyone gets excited and suddenly everyone wants a touch of the ball. That's the France you always prepare for.
"In 2011 something very similar (reports of player unrest) happened and they ended up making the final - they could have won it. So we don’t read anything into that. They have got some great experience in there."