Ford, Joseph and Watson back for Grand Slam decider

17 March 2016

Bath Rugby's George Ford, Jonathan Joseph and Anthony Watson all start for England in the final RBS 6 Nations match against France in Paris (kick-off 8pm, live on BBC) as England try to secure their first grand slam since 2003.  

The trio have started every match of the championship, with Saturday's team showing only two changes to the one which beat Wales last Saturday at Twickenham.

Danny Care and Billy Vunipola replace Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers) and Joe Marler (Harlequins), who both move to the bench, in two changes to the starting side that beat Wales 25-21 at Twickenham Stadium last weekend.

England head coach Eddie Jones said: 
“We’ve picked our best 23 who we know can get the job done in Paris. Everyone wants to be on the field this Saturday so selection was nip and tuck. Danny Care starts at scrum half with Ben Youngs finishing the game. Mako Vunipola comes in at loose-head for Joe Marler who will make an impact off the bench.     
“While we are pleased to have already won the championship we don’t want to let our foot off the gas. The objective has always been to win every game, to be the most dominant team in Europe, so it’s been very important for us to approach this week with the same level of intensity we have shown in previous weeks. I’m pleased with how we have prepared and with the focus the squad have shown. 

“You can’t underestimate any team in Test match rugby. France are a dangerous side but we go to Paris full of confidence and a hunger to get the win.”  

At U20 level, Bath Rugby Academy number eight Zach Mercer is named on the bench for England against their French counterparts. 

England team to face France 

15. Mike Brown (vice captain, Harlequins, 47 caps) 
14. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 19 caps)
13. Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 20 caps)
12. Owen Farrell (vice captain, Saracens, 39 caps)
11. Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 14 caps)
10. George Ford (Bath Rugby, 21 caps)
9. Danny Care (Harlequins, 57 caps)
1. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 31 caps) 
2. Dylan Hartley (captain, Northampton Saints, 70 caps)
3. Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 60 caps)
4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 3 caps)
5. George Kruis (Saracens, 14 caps)
6. Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, 47 caps)
7. James Haskell (Wasps, 66 caps)
8. Billy Vunipola (vice captain, Saracens, 25 caps)
16. Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 2 cap)
17. Joe Marler (Harlequins 41 caps)
18. Kieran Brookes (Northampton Saints 16 caps)
19. Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 31 caps)
20. Jack Clifford (Harlequins, 4 caps)
21. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 56 caps)
22. Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 26 caps)
23. Elliot Daly (Wasps, 2 cap)


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