London - England
coach Eddie Jones has dropped Jack Nowell from his starting side and
recalled Chris Ashton on the right wing against France in the Six
Nations at Twickenham on Sunday.
Ashton came off the bench to replace Nowell six minute before the end
of England's impressive 33-20 first-round win away to reigning Six
Nations champions Ireland last weekend.
The 31-year-old Sale flyer knows France well, having returned to
England from Top 14 club Toulon before the start of this season.
Sunday's match will be Ashton's first start in the Six Nations since 2013.
The other change to the side announced on Friday is in the pack where
Courtney Lawes comes into the second row after Maro Itoje suffered a
knee injury against Ireland in Dublin.
Front rows Dan Cole and Ben Moon, as well as second row Joe
Launchbury, are included on the bench for the first time in this Six
"We have gone for Chris Ashton on the wing; we think he might sneak
us a try early in the game," said Jones of the 31-year-old, who has
scored 20 tries in 43 Tests.
"Jack Nowell was brilliant against Ireland and he'll play a significant role for us off the bench," the Australian added.
Turning to the second row, Jones said: "It is unfortunate Maro is
injured but he has been rehabbing well so we are hopeful he will be back
earlier than maybe first predicted.
"We have got great depth in the squad so Joe Launchbury and Courtney Lawes will fill his shoes very well."
captained by flyhalf Owen Farrell, will be up against a France side
looking to bounce back from the shock of squandering a 16-0 half-time
lead before losing 24-19 to Wales in Paris last weekend.
"After the Ireland game we have had to refocus and reset," said
Jones, speaking before France announced their side for Twickenham
"The French are always an interesting side to play against," said the former Australia and Japan coach.
"They are full of talent, they have a lot of unpredictability so it's
hard to prepare tactically against them so we have had a real focus on
England have won nine of the last 12 Six Nations games against
France, with Les Bleus' last win over the Red Rose at Twickenham an
18-17 success back in 2005.
"We can't wait to play in front of our supporters, I’m sure they will
be buoyant by the first round results and we promise we will play a
better game on Sunday," said Jones.
15 Elliot Daly, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Manu Tuilagi, 11 Jonny May, 10 Owen Farrell (captain), 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Mark Wilson, 5 George Kruis, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola
Substitutes: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Joe Launchbury, 20 Nathan Hughes, 21 Dan Robson, 22 George Ford, 23 Jack Nowell
15 Yoann Huget, 14 Damian Penaud, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 11 Gael Fickou, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Arthur Iturria, 6 Yacouba Camara, 5 Felix Lambey, 4 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 3 Demba Bamba, 2 Guilhem Guirado (captain), 1 Jefferson Poirot
Substitutes: 16 Pierre Bourgarit, 17 Dany Priso, 18 Dorian Aldegheri, 19 Paul Willemse, 20 Gregory Alldritt, 21 Antoine Dupont, 22 Romain Ntamack, 23 Thomas Ramos