Chiefs duo to face the French
By Mark Stevens
Exeter Chiefs duo Luke Cowan-Dickie and Sam Simmonds have both been named in Eddie Jones' England squad for Saturday's NatWest Six Nations Championship clash with France in Paris (4:45pm).
Simmonds returns to the squad having missed the clash with Scotland last time out with a shoulder injury, while Cowan-Dickie is included for the first time this season.
Injury has ruled out captain Dylan Hartley, so Jamie George will replace him at hooker in what is an otherwise unchanged starting forward pack to the one that faced Scotland last month.
Owen Farrell will captain the team with club-mate Mako Vunipola named as vice captain.
Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors) will start at outside centre with Elliot Daly (Wasps) returning to the starting XV at left wing. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby) moves from right wing to full-back with Jonny May (Leicester Tigers) switching wings.
Cowan-Dickie and Simmonds, meanwhile are among six changes to the eight finishers, others include: Mike Brown (Harlequins), James Haskell (Wasps), Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby) and Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins).
Exeter duo Jack Nowell and Harry Williams were not considered for selection due to injury.
Head coach Jones said: “This game is about the opportunity for the team to move forward and we want a response from the players this week.
“Against France we want to be brutal and aggressive on the gain line and to play with a great tactical discipline.”
On Farrell captaining the side Jones said: “Owen will be very proud to be captain but at the same time he is disappointed for Dylan to miss out through injury and he knows the position of captain carries a lot of responsibility.”
England side to face France
15 Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby 31 caps)
14 Jonny May (Leicester Tigers 32 caps)
13 Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors 11 caps)
12 Owen Farrell (Saracens 56 caps, capt)
11 Elliot Daly (Wasps 16 caps)
10 George Ford (Leicester Tigers 43 caps)
9 Danny Care (Harlequins 79 caps)
1 Mako Vunipola (Saracens 47 caps)
2 Jamie George (Saracens 23 caps)
3 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers 80 caps)
4 Joe Launchbury (Wasps 50 caps)
5 Maro Itoje (Saracens 17 caps)
6 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints 64 caps)
7 Chris Robshaw (Harlequins 62 caps)
8 Nathan Hughes (Wasps 13 caps)
16 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs 4 caps)
17 Joe Marler (Harlequins 54 caps)
18 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins 8 caps)
19 James Haskell (Wasps 75 caps)
20 Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs 5 caps)
21 Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens 29 caps)
22 Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby 38 caps)
23 Mike Brown (Harlequins 67 caps)