Six Nations 2013: Stuart Lancaster’s England unchanged for France clash
Six Nations 2013: England head coach Stuart Lancaster sticks with the same side which beat Ireland for Saturday's France clash
Stuart Lancaster admitted he was tempted to tinker with his England squad before deciding to keep faith with the same 23 that moved a step closer to the Six Nations Grand Slam in Ireland.
The Red Rose face France at Twickenham on Saturday before games with Italy and Wales and remain the only side capable of completing the clean sweep after winning 12-6 in Dublin.
Lancaster’s decision means full-back Ben Foden returns to Northampton along with scrum-half Lee Dickson while Mouritz Botha, Will Fraser, David Strettle and Joel Tomkins all head back to Saracens.
Worcester Warriors flanker Matt Kvesic, Gloucester No8 Ben Morgan, London Irish prop Alex Corbisiero, London Wasps back Elliot Daly and Sale prop Henry Thomas also return to Premiership action.
And while conceding he deliberated over the final make-up of his match day 23, Lancaster insisted the players who performed in Ireland deserved another chance.
“We’ve had 30 plus guys pushing hard for selection this week, which is what we want,” he said.
“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.
“We are looking forward to getting back to Twickenham against what I am sure will be a highly motivated French team.”