Furbank recalled as Jones makes five changes for clash with France

Eddie Jones has made five changes to the starting XV for England’s final Guinness Six Nations clash against France this weekend.

Eddie Jones has made five changes to the starting XV for England’s final Guinness Six Nations clash against France this weekend.

England travel to Paris hoping to prevent a French Grand Slam for the first time since 2010 in the final match of the Championship on Saturday night.

Two of those changes have been enforced, with Charlie Ewels receiving a three-match ban for his head-on-head tackle with James Ryan last weekend, and captain for the opening two rounds Tom Curry ruled out with injury.

They are replaced by Nick Isiekwe, who is the only starting forward with fewer than ten caps, and Sam Underhill, who has not featured for England since the win over South Africa in the Autumn Nations Series, respectively.

Elsewhere, Will Stuart is preferred in the front row to Kyle Sinckler, who is dropped to the bench.

He joins vice captains Ellis Genge and Jamie George after their impressive showing at Twickenham a week ago.

Maro Itoje joins Isiekwe in the second row, while Underhill is joined by Sam Simmonds and captain Courtney Lawes in the back row.

In the backs, Ben Youngs returns to the starting line-up after being on the replacements bench against Italy, Wales and Ireland in place of Harry Randall who drops to the bench.

He is joined by Marcus Smith at fly-half, who has started every match of the Championship to date.

The centre pairing remains the same as a week ago, with Henry Slade starting inside Joe Marchant after both impressed defensively against Ireland.

And in the back three, Jones has opted for George Furbank at full-back, the Northampton Saint having made his debut at the Stade de France in Round 1 of the 2020 Championship, with Freddie Steward shifting to right wing and Jack Nowell continuing on the left wing.

On the replacements bench, Nic Dolly is involved for the first time this Championship, while Ollie Chessum returns after making his debut against Italy off the bench, with the pair both set to earn just their second cap.

Jones said: “This is our strongest 23 for the game against France. “We are disappointed not to be in the contention for the trophy but last week’s effort against Ireland was full of pride, energy and tactical discipline. “We have focused on refreshing the team this week and we are ready to empty the tank on Saturday.”

England team to face France:

15. George Furbank (Northampton Saints, 5 caps) 14. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 9 caps) 13. Joe Marchant (Harlequins, 11 caps) 12. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 47 caps) 11. Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 38 caps) 10. Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 9 caps) 9. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 116 caps) 1. Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 35 caps) 2. Jamie George (Saracens, 65 caps) 3. Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 19 caps) 4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 55 caps) 5. Nick Isiekwe (Saracens, 6 caps) 6. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 92 caps) 7. Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 27 caps) 8. Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, 13 caps)


16. Nic Dolly (Leicester Tigers, 1 cap)

17. Joe Marler (Harlequins, 78 caps)

18. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 51 caps)

19. Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers, 1 cap)

20. Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins, 8 caps)

21. Harry Randall (Bristol Bears, 5 caps)

22. George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 80 caps)

23. Elliot Daly (Saracens, 56 caps)