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Cole predicts intriguing contest in Paris

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Dan Cole says the battle for selection and for form ahead of the World Cup will make England's visit to Paris this weekend more intriguing than ever.Leicester Tigers prop Cole joins club colleagues Ben and Tom Youngs in the England starting XV for the return fixture against France following a 19-14 victory at Twickenham last weekend.   After the confrontation in the Stade de France, England will finalise their 31-man squad before one last warm-up fixture against Ireland in two weeks, and Cole says it all adds to the attraction of the Paris encounter.   “It is England-France, it is a massive game,” Cole told the England Rugby Podcast.   “Then you have the World Cup looming in the background and places up for competition.   “For some of us, it is the first game of the season. Normally Test matches come later in your year, but for us it is first in the summer and there are so many different levels and plots in the game.   “It is going to be interesting, it is going to be tough, but it is one you want to play in, and that runs through the team.   “There is a rotation this week, everyone is raring to go and looking to build on last week.   “The entire French squad is quality, whichever team they pick. They’ve rotated a few this week but they’ve still got a big front five, they’ll be up for the game. They played well last week and will be looking to step up again.”   The competition for places is at its most intense with the final squad to be announced before the end of August.   “No one was nailed-on for a spot at the beginning of the campaign with 50 players,” added Cole. “The coaches have a tough job to cut it down but they want a tough job.”   France against England is an 8pm kick-off (UK time) on Saturday. There is live coverage on Sky Sports.