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Fri 31 Jan 2020 | 12:54

England banking on continuity

England banking on continuity
Fri 31 Jan 2020 | 12:54
England banking on continuity

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: England head coach Eddie Jones has selected his side to play France in England’s opening match of the Six Nations in Paris on Sunday.

Owen Farrell is named at inside centre and will captain the side with 675 caps in the starting XV.

George Ford starts inside Farrell at flyhalf with Manu Tuilagi at outside centre. Ben Youngs will play his 96th Test at scrumhalf.

George Furbank will make his England debut at fullback with Elliot Daly named on the left wing and Jonny May on the right following Anthony Watson’s late unavailability due to injury.

Tom Curry is selected as number eight with Sam Underhill at openside flank and Courtney Lawes at blindside flank.

Charlie Ewels will partner Maro Itoje in the second row with Jamie George, Joe Marler and Kyle Sinckler making up England’s front row.

Prop Will Stuart is included as a finisher and the second uncapped player in the matchday 23.

Jones, heading into his fifth Six Nations as England men’s head coach, said: “It has been a massively exciting week for us. It is the start of the Six Nations, the best rugby tournament in the world. We have had a great preparation in Portugal with a quality training week this week.

“We have really worried about ourselves, getting ourselves right. We have picked a strong forward pack which is part of the England way and an exciting backline with young George Furbank playing his first Test at fullback.

“France can expect absolute brutality from England, we are going to go out there to make sure they understand what Test rugby is.It is about being brutal, it is about being physical and it is about dominating the set-piece.”

England last played France in the 2019 edition of the tournament, beating Les Bleus 44-8 at Twickenham Stadium. Under Jones, England have won two of the last four Six Nations including a Grand Slam in 2016.

England: 15 George Furbank, 14 Jonny May, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Owen Farrell (captain), 11 Elliot Daly, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Tom Curry, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Courtney Lawes, 5 Charlie Ewels, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Will Stuart, 19 George Kruis, 20 Lewis Ludlam, 21 Willi Heinz, 22 Ollie Devoto, 23 Jonathan Joseph

Date: Sunday, February 2
Venue: Stade de France, Paris
Kick-off: 16.00 (15.00 UK time; 15.00 GMT)
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Andrew Brace (Ireland), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (Ireland)

PV: 1843

England banking on continuity - england | Rugby365