England team news: Ashton starts against France in second Guinness Six Nations match
Chris Ashton will make his first Guinness Six Nations start since 2013 as Eddie Jones named England’s starting line-up to face France in their second match on Sunday 10 February at Twickenham Stadium (KO 3pm live on ITV Sport).
Jones has made two changes to the starting XV that beat Ireland last weekend with Northampton Saints’ Courtney Lawes selected in the second row following the injury to Maro Itoje in Dublin.
Sale Sharks’ Ashton is named on the right wing in place of Exeter Chiefs’ Jack Nowell who will be among the finishers on Sunday.
Leicester Tigers prop Dan Cole, Wasps lock Joe Launchbury and Exeter Chiefs’ Ben Moon are included as finishers for the first time this tournament.
Jones said: “After the Ireland game we have had to refocus and reset. Players have been very good and certainly by Sunday we’ll be at our best.
“The French are always an interesting side to play against. They are full of talent, they have a lot of unpredictability so it’s hard to prepare tactically against them so we have had a real focus on ourselves.
“It is unfortunate Maro is injured but he has been rehabbing well so we are hopeful he will be back earlier than maybe first predicted. We have got great depth in the squad so Joe Launchbury and Courtney Lawes will fill his shoes very well.
“We have gone for Chris Ashton on the wing; we think he might sneak us a try early in the game. Jack Nowell was brilliant against Ireland and he’ll play a significant role for us off the bench.
“We can’t wait to play in front of our supporters, I’m sure they will be buoyant by the first round results and we promise we will play a better game on Sunday.”
England have won nine of the last 12 Six Nations games against France with the Les Bleus only having managed one win at Twickenham in the Six Nations era back in 2005.
England starting XV
15 Elliot Daly (Wasps)
14 Chris Ashton (Sale Sharks)
13 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)
12 Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)
11 Jonny May (Leicester Tigers)
10 Owen Farrell (Saracens) (c)
9 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
1 Mako Vunipola (Saracens)
2 Jamie George (Saracens)
3 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins)
4 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
5 George Kruis (Saracens)
6 Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons)
7 Tom Curry (Sale Sharks)
8 Billy Vunipola (Saracens)
16 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs)
17 Ben Moon (Exeter Chiefs
18 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
19 Joe Launchbury (Wasps)
20 Nathan Hughes (Wasps)
21 Dan Robson (Wasps)
22 George Ford (Leicester Tigers)
23 Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs)