London - Courtney Lawes will make his first
England start at blindside flank as one of three changes to a winning
side announced on Thursday by head coach Stuart Lancaster for Saturday's
Six Nations clash against France at Twickenham.
In two other
switches to the starting side that saw off Ireland 12-6 last time out in
Dublin, the powerful Manu Tuilagi, who came off the bench at Lansdowne
Road, is in midfield in place of ball-playing centre Billy Twelvetrees
while Dylan Hartley takes over at hooker from Tom Youngs.
all of whose nine previous Tests have been as a lock, has been drafted
into the back row after James Haskell suffered a bout of flu.
Twelvetrees, Haskell and Youngs are all on the bench.
"We thought long and hard about changing a winning team which did so well against Ireland," Lancaster explained on Thursday.
we believe that Dylan, Courtney and Manu are ready for the opportunity
and allow us to vary our play, while the bench will add impact and
energy as the game unfolds in the second half.
"The players are really looking forward to getting back to Twickenham.
atmosphere in the stadium is fantastic and hopefully the crowd can get
behind us in what is sure to be a great challenge against a motivated
and physical French team."
England lead the Six Nations table and are only the side in this season's tournament who can win the Grand Slam.
by contrast, have made their worst start to a Championship for 31 years
and are currently bottom of the pile after back-to-back defeats by
Italy and Wales.
That prompted France coach Philippe Saint-Andre
to make seven changes and a positional switch for a match he has dubbed a
"Grand Slam" encounter for his struggling side when he unveiled his
Twickenham team earlier on Thursday.
All of England's changes
reflect what they think will be a physical threat from France, with
Tuilagi joining defensive linchpin Brad Barritt in the centres for what
promises to be an intriguing and brutal midfield clash.Teams:
England: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Brad Barritt, 12 Manu Tuilagi, 11 Mike Brown, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Ben
Youngs, 8 Tom Wood, 7 Chris Robshaw (captain), 6 Courtney Lawes, 5 Geoff Parling,
4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Joe Marler.
16 Tom Youngs, 17 David Wilson, 18 Mako Vunipola, 19 James Haskell, 20
Thomas Waldrom, 21 Danny Care, 22 Toby Flood, 23 Billy Twelvetrees.
Huget, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11
Benjamin Fall, 10 Francois Trinh-Duc, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Louis Picamoles,
7 Yannick Nyanga,
6 Thiery Dusautoir (captain), 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Christophe Samson, 3
2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Thomas Domingo.Substitutes: 16 Dimitri Szarzewski,
17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Luc Ducalcon, 19 Jocelino Suta, 20 Antonie Claassen, 21 Maxime
Machenaud, 22 Frederic Michalak, 23 Florian Fritz.