Six Nations 2015: France make two changes for England
Stade Français outside-half Jules Plisson replaces injured Camille Lopez, while Vincent Debaty is preferred to Eddy Ben Arous
France have made two changes for their RBS 6 Nations finale against England at Twickenham.
Head coach Philippe Saint-Andre has kept his changes to a minimum after they bounced back from defeat against Wales to defeat Italy 29-0 in Rome last Sunday.
As a young rugby player, to be playing in that stadium for the conclusion of the tournament, it’s great. This is the best match; a great opportunity.
Stade Français outside-half Jules Plisson makes his first start of the championship as he replaces injured Camille Lopez, despite breaking his nose at the Stadio Olimpico five days ago after coming off the bench for Lopez.
Clermont Auvergne loosehead prop Vincent Debaty, who made a big impact coming off the bench against Ireland in Dublin in round two, starts at the expense of Eddy Ben Arous as France look for a first win at Twickenham since a Rugby World Cup warm-up match in August 2007.
“A small fracture is not enough to stop me from taking to the field, plus they say that injuries make the true rugby players,” said Plisson.
“I feel good in my head, I’m physically fit. I’m looking forward to Twickenham and a huge game.
“As a young rugby player, to be playing in that stadium for the conclusion of the tournament, it’s great. This is the best match; a great opportunity.
“It is a very big chance for me. I’ll have a big responsibility with the kicking game; the goal kicking.
“Some may think it’s going to put extra pressure on me, but I can guarantee you that it is a pleasure to play in this legendary stadium.”
Saint-Andre has also made two changes on the bench with giant prop Uini Atonio coming in for Thomas Domingo and Remi Tales taking Lopez’s spot.
France still have a mathematical chance of winning the title, but need to defeat England and hope Italy and defeat Wales and Scotland can defeat Ireland earlier on “Super Saturday”.
England: Mike Brown (Harlequins); Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby), Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby), Luther Burrell (Northampton Saints), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs); George Ford (Bath Rugby), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers); Joe Marler (Harlequins), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), James Haskell (Wasps), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, captain), Billy Vunipola (Saracens).
Replacements: Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Kieran Brookes (Newcastle Falcons), Nick Easter (Harlequins), Tom Wood (Northampton Saints); Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens), Danny Cipriani (Sale Sharks), Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby).
France: Scott Spedding (Bayonne); Yoann Huget (Toulouse), Gael Fickou (Toulouse), Maxime Mermoz (Toulon), Noa Nakaitaci (Clermont Auvergne); Jules Plisson (Stade Français), Sebastien Tillous-Borde (Toulon); Vincent Debaty (Clermont Auvergne), Guilhem Guirado (Toulon), Nicolas Mas (Montpellier), Alexandre Flanquart (Stade Français), Yoann Maestri (Toulouse), Thierry Dusautoir (Toulouse, captain), Bernard Le Roux (Racing Metro), Loann Goujon (La Rochelle).
Replacements: Benjamin Kayser (Clermont Auvergne), Rabah Slimani (Stade Français), Uini Atonio (La Rochelle), Romain Taofifenua (Toulon), Damien Chouly (Clermont Auvergne), Rory Kockott (Castres), Remi Tales (Castres), Mathieu Bastareaud (Toulon).
Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU)