England Name Exciting Side To Play France This Weekend


Chris Robshaw returns to lead England against France at the Stade de France on Saturday evening (kick-off 8pm BST, live on Sky Sports 1).

The Harlequin comes in at openside flanker in one of 14 changes to Stuart Lancaster’s starting-line up, with try-scorer Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby) retained from the team that beat the same opponents 19-14 in last weekend’s QBE International.

Robshaw joins James Haskell (Wasps) and Billy Vunipola (Saracens) in an identical back row to the one that faced Les Bleus back in March.

Indeed, 12 of this starting 15 featured in the run-on side for the RBS 6 Nations finale at Twickenham, which England won 55-35.

Elsewhere, lock Joe Launchbury (Wasps) plays his first full international in 12 months after returning from injury at the back end of last season.

Meanwhile, there is a place in the match-day 23 for Saracens hooker Jamie George, who could make a debut from the bench as the visitors continue to gear up for the Rugby World Cup.

England Head Coach Lancaster said: “Having reviewed last Saturday there were a lot of things we were pleased with considering it was the first game.

“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.

“France 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.”

England to face France on Saturday 22 August

15. Mike Brown (Harlequins, 37 caps)
14. Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 8 caps)
13. Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 11 caps)
12. Luther Burrell (Northampton Saints, 12 caps)
11. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 14 caps)
10. George Ford (Bath Rugby, 11 caps)
9. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 47 caps)

1. Joe Marler (Harlequins, 31 caps)
2. Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 22 caps)
3. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 50 caps)
4. Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 22 caps)
5. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 38 caps)
6. James Haskell (Wasps, 59 caps)
7. Chris Robshaw (captain, Harlequins, 37 caps)
8. Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 13 caps)


16. Jamie George (Saracens, uncapped)
17. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 21 caps)
18. David Wilson (Bath Rugby, 42 caps)
19. Dave Attwood (Bath Rugby, 21 caps)
20. Nick Easter (Harlequins, 51 caps)
21. Danny Care (Harlequins, 51 caps)
22. Danny Cipriani (Sale Sharks, 13 caps)
23. Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby, 21 caps)



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