Wood ready to square up to Saints team-mate Picamoles

Tom Wood is set to play for England against France on Saturday
Tom Wood is set to play for England against France on Saturday
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Tom Wood knows England will have to expect the unexpected when they face Louis Picamoles on Saturday.

Wood and Picamoles have been two of the stand-out players at Saints this season, and they are likely to square up in a ferocious back row battle at Twickenham this weekend.

Louis Picamoles has been brilliant for Saints this season

Louis Picamoles has been brilliant for Saints this season

England will be desperate to overcome France as Eddie Jones’ men look to get off to a flying start in this year’s Six Nations.

And if the Red Rose are to prevail, they will have to ensure Picamoles is not allowed to continue the fantastic form he has shown at Saints since joining the club last summer.

“Louis has shown me how to hurdle would-be defenders,” Saints skipper Wood said. “He has taught me to expect the unexpected when playing alongside him.

“He gets himself into situations where you think there’s no chance of an off-load coming but he manages to get one away.

“He rides tackles and is very unorthodox in his ball-carrying. He doesn’t necessarily carry the ball hard at the line or hit it at a huge pace.

“He waits for you to make your move and he has got such big legs you can’t get your arms around them at once.

“And he has got such balance that as you commit to the tackle he just palms you into the floor, shifts his hips so you can’t get hold of him so he is making ground all the time, making his arms available then for the offload.

“He’s a great player. I’ve played against him a few times and have always had my hands full trying to deal with him.

“I’m glad he’s on my side at the Saints.”