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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

French Favored in 5 Nations

LONDON -- A hint of spring in the air, the fleetest three-quarters in the championship and a heady new commercial world to explore all point to France clinching its second Five Nations' title in four years at Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday.

Buoyed by a 45-10 win over Ireland in their last outing, the back three of Jean-Luc Sadourny, Emile Ntamack and captain Philippe Saint-Andre could cut loose on Saturday against a Welsh side which at best can be described as promising.

France shares top place in the table with England but has a comfortable 21-point margin over the defending champion, which hosts Ireland at Twickenham.

In addition, the leading French players, looking to cash in on their unquestioned abilities after the first full season of professional rugby, will be anxious to impress the richer British clubs.

Already reports have emerged in the English press that French lock Olivier Roumat is seeking a contract worth ?100,000 ($152,500) with London club Harlequins.

England, which kept France's championship hopes alive by denying Scotland the grand slam, should be too good for Ireland in Will Carling's final outing as England captain. But England has not shown the form to make up the points defecit on the French.