Six Nations 2012: England name unchanged side for France clash
England head coach Stuart Lancaster has named the same starting XV who lost to Wales for Sunday's clash with France
England head coach Stuart Lancaster has opted to keep faith with the same starting XV who lost to Wales for Sunday’s Six Nations clash with France.
Toby Flood, England’s fly-half during last year’s successful Six Nations campaign, was released back to Leicester earlier this week and despite Charlie Hodgson proving his fitness, Owen Farrell retains the No.10 shirt.
Hodgson, who missed the defeat to Wales with a finger injury, takes Flood’s place on the replacements bench where Stade Francais lock Tom Palmer also replaces injured Northampton second row Courtney Lawes.
Ben Morgan stays at No8 in a back row also comprising of captain Chris Robshaw and Tom Croft, with Manu Tuilagi retaining the No.13 shirt and Ben Foden continuing to hold off the challenge of Mike Brown at full-back.
And Lancaster, who tasted defeat for the first time as England boss against Wales at Twickenham, has backed his players to bounce back at the Stade de France.
“We’ve had a good week following on from the Loughborough training camp and the players have been very positive and focused,” he said.
“We were really disappointed to lose to Wales but we took a lot out of the performance and felt it was right to pick the same starting team to go to Paris.
“It will be a massive challenge going to the Stade de France and playing against an experienced an unbeaten French side but we are excited about the opportunity and want to do the country proud.”
England: Ben Foden; Chris Ashton, Manu Tuilagi, Brad Barritt, David Strettle; Owen Farrell, Lee Dickson; Alex Corbisiero, Dylan Hartley, Dan Cole; Mouritz Botha, Geoff Parling; Tom Croft, Chris Robshaw (captain), Ben Morgan.
Replacements: Rob Webber, Matt Stevens, Tom Palmer, Phil Dowson, Ben Youngs, Charlie Hodgson, Mike Brown.