Abrasive flanker Tom Wood expects the pack to lead the French assault in an opening-day showdown that is likely to shape the Championship title ace.
"France have some very talented players and some big strong men," Wood said.
"They have a very powerful pack and we're going to have to meet it head on.
"We may have to weather a storm early on but we intend to bring our own fire.
"We've got to box clever because they are a very physical pack.
"We think we can move them around and apply some pressure but physically it's a big challenge going away to France and we've got to be ready."
England will blood uncapped backs Luther Burrell and Jack Nowell at the Stade de France, while Jonny May will be winning only his second cap on the left wing.
Wood outlined what is expected of the trio as England begin their quest to improve on the successive runners-up finishes in their last two Six Nations.
"There are no allowances. They are coming into a pretty established team and a culture and environment that demands high standards," he said.
"They are very aware of that - we've had that conversation.
"They are here on merit because they've been on great form in the Premiership.
"They've given themselves a chance. It's for them to come and take it now."
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- Tom Wood