JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Lancaster sticks with tried and true for France clash

Date

Julien Guyer

England's head coach Stuart Lancaster with James Haskell after defeating Ireland in Dublin.

England's head coach Stuart Lancaster with James Haskell after defeating Ireland in Dublin. Photo: Reuters

England head coach Stuart Lancaster named Tuesday an unchanged 23-man squad for the Six Nations clash against France at Twickenham on Saturday.

Lancaster will select his starting side and eight replacements from the same matchday 23 chosen for the 12-6 victory over Ireland in Dublin on February 10 -- a result that left England top of the table and the only side capable of winning a Grand Slam Six Nations.

Wasps No.8 Billy Vunipola had been pressing hard to force his way into the matchday line-up but his prospects suffered a setback when he injured his ankle in training on Tuesday.

As a result, Lancaster has opted for the same 23 he fielded at Lansdowne Road although that would not prevent him making changes to a starting line-up due to be announced on Thursday, when France are also set to name their side.

"We had to make some close calls but the team did very well in Ireland so we've gone with the same squad against France," Lancaster said Tuesday.

"We are looking forward to getting back to Twickenham against what I am sure will be a highly motivated French team."

Lancaster must decide whether to stick with the centre pairing of Billy Twelvetrees and Brad Barritt or find a place for Manu Tuilagi, currently being used as an 'impact' substitute, in the starting side.

Elsewhere in the backs, replacement scrum-half Danny Care bolstered his bid for a starting spot with an impressive display in English champions Harlequins' Premiership win over Leicester on Saturday.

However, Care was denied the chance to compete against incumbent England No 9 Ben Youngs that match as the Leicester scrum-half was not granted a release from the Test squad by Lancaster.

Up front, Mako Vunipola, Billy's brother, has also been rivalling Joe Marler for the loosehead prop berth after some impressive work coming off the bench.

"I am delighted with his progress," said England forwards coach Graham Rowntree of Mako Vunipola.

"I remember myself as a prop coming on and trying to get up to the pace of the game, trying to make an impact on the game and he does it better than I ever did," the former England international added.

Meanwhile Dylan Hartley has been challenging Tom Youngs, brother of Ben, for the hooker's No 2 shirt.

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre has already labelled Saturday's match a "Grand Slam" for his struggling side with the pre-tournament favourites in the shock position of being bottom of the table after defeats in the opening two rounds by Italy and Wales.

No France side has lost its first two Six Nations matches, with the last time 'Les Bleus' suffered back-to-back reverses at the start of the Championship coming in 1982 during the Five Nations era.

England 23-man squad to play France.

Backs (10): Chris Ashton (Saracens), Brad Barritt (Saracens), Mike Brown (Harlequins), Danny Care (Harlequins), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Toby Flood (Leicester), Alex Goode (Saracens), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester), Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester), Ben Youngs (Leicester).

Forwards (13): Dan Cole (Leicester), Dylan Hartley (Northampton), James Haskell (Wasps), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Geoff Parling (Leicester), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, capt), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), David Wilson (Bath), Thomas Waldrom (Leicester), Tom Wood (Northampton), Tom Youngs (Leicester)

AFP

Related Coverage

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00Olym
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00Olym
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45Olym
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45Olym
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00Olym
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

Follow Us on Facebook

Featured advertisers