New-look England head for France

2015-08-18 19:38
Chris Robshaw (AFP)

London - Regular England captain Chris Robshaw was restored to the side announced on Tuesday for the Rugby World Cup hosts' second warm-up match against France in Paris on Saturday.

The Harlequins flank was one of 14 changes made by coach Stuart Lancaster to his starting side, with only try-scoring wing Jonny May retained from the XV that ran out to defeat France 19-14 at Twickenham last weekend.

Robshaw will form a back row alongside veteran James Haskell and Billy Vunipola.

It is the same loose forward trio which started the final match of last season's Six Nations against France, with 12 of that XV which won 55-35 at Twickenham five months ago - a result that still wasn't good enough for England to clinch the title - lining up in Paris.

There was no place in the matchday 23 for either former rugby league star Sam Burgess or fellow centre Henry Slade, who both impressed on their Test debuts against France last weekend.

Instead Lancaster has reverted back to his tried and trusted centre partnership of Luther Burrell and Jonathan Joseph, leaving open the question of who will provide midfield cover in a World Cup squad that must be named by August 31.

Danny Cipriani and Billy Twelvetrees will look to stake their claims to those positions after being named on the bench for the Stade de France fixture, having had little chance to shine when making substitute appearances at Twickenham last week.

Meanwhile Wasps lock Joe Launchbury is set to play his first international in 12 months after returning from injury while there is also a place in the matchday 23 for the first time for Saracens hooker Jamie George.

"Having reviewed last Saturday there were a lot of things we were pleased with considering it was the first game," Lancaster said Tuesday.

"There is now an opportunity for those not involved or who didn't get much opportunity from the bench to put a marker down and build on that performance."

Lancaster added: "France were very good last weekend and will be even stronger at home and this will be a big test but these guys have been working hard for the opportunity and are desperate to go out and perform.

"I'm delighted for Jamie George who hopefully gets his first cap and also Joe Launchbury, who has worked tirelessly and patiently to get back to fitness.

"It is a big couple of weeks ahead for all the 39-man squad with the game this weekend and some competitive training sessions to come this week and next as we look to narrow down the squad ahead of the World Cup."





15 Mike Brown, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Jonny May, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Chris Robshaw (captain), 6 James Haskell, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Joe Marler

Substitutes: 16 Jamie George, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 David Wilson, 19 Dave Attwood, 20 Nick Easter, 21 Danny Care, 22 Danny Cipriani, 23 Billy Twelvetrees

Read more on:    england  |  rwc 2015  |  chris robshaw  |  rugby

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