England scored four tries in their win over Ireland in their opening match of the 2019 Six Nations
Six Nations
Venue: Twickenham Date: Sunday, 10th February Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and online; text updates and highlights on the BBC Sport website and app; TV highlights on BBC Two at 18:00 GMT.

Team news & line-ups

England winger Chris Ashton makes a first Six Nations start since 2013 so Jack Nowell drops to the bench.

The only other change from the team that beat Ireland last week is in the pack where second row Courtney Lawes replaces the injured Maro Itoje.

Front rows Dan Cole and Ben Moon, as well as second row Joe Launchbury, are also on the bench at Twickenham.

Centres Mathieu Bastareaud and Geoffrey Doumayrou are among six changes France have made after losing to Wales.

Gael Fickou starts on the wing with Yoann Huget moving to full-back.

In the pack, 20-year-old Demba Bamba starts at tight-head in place of Uini Atonio, flanker Yacouba Camara takes over from Wenceslas Lauret and lock Felix Lambey replaces Paul Willemse.

England: 15-Elliot Daly, 14-Chris Ashton, 13-Henry Slade, 12-Manu Tuilagi, 11-Jonny May, 10-Owen Farrell (capt), 9-Ben Youngs; 1-Mako Vunipola, 2-Jamie George, 3-Kyle Sinckler, 4-Courtney Lawes, 5-George Kruis, 6-Mark Wilson;, 7-Tom Curry, 8-Billy Vunipola

Replacements: 16-Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17-Ben Moon, 18-Dan Cole, 19-Joe Launchbury, 20-Nathan Hughes, 21-Dan Robson, 22-George Ford, 23-Jack Nowell

France: 15-Yoann Huget, 14-Damian Penaud, 13-Mathieu Bastareaud, 12-Geoffrey Doumayrou, 11-Gael Fickou, 10-Camille Lopez, 9-Morgan Parra; 1-Jefferson Poirot, 2-Guilhem Guirado (captain), 3-Demba Bamba, 4-Sebastien Vahaamahina, 5-Felix Lambey, 6-Yacouba Camara, 7-Arthur Iturria, 8-Louis Picamoles

Replacements: 16-Pierre Bourgarit, 17-Dany Priso, 18-Dorian Aldegheri, 19-Paul Willemse, 20-Gregory Alldritt, 21-Antoine Dupont, 22-Romain Ntamack, 23-Thomas Ramos

Commentator’s notes

Andrew Cotter: “Injured, out of the country or simply out of favour, it’s six years since Chris Ashton’s last start in the Six Nations and his selection ahead of Jack Nowell on the wing is the main surprise. But Ashton still runs great support lines and is an outstanding finisher, something which the French know well given his time at Toulon.

“Once more England’s sizeable playing resources are shown – any side in the world would miss Maro Itoje but, although he doesn’t have having Itoje’s raw strength, Courtney Lawes will still be a destructive presence around the park.

“France are clearly wary of England’s power in turning once more to Mathieu Bastareaud in midfield and his meetings with Manu Tuilagi will be something to behold.”

View from both camps

England head coach Eddie Jones: “After the Ireland game we have had to refocus and reset.

“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.”

France head coach Jacques Brunel: “England stays true to herself. We know they always impose their power.

“Last year we won shortly after suffering ourselves. Then they had a difficult phase that lasted three to four months. Since then they have found their form, as the match against Ireland attests.

“I was very impressed with their performance. They dominated most of the game by putting constant pressure on Ireland. In my eyes, it was an English demonstration.”

Standings after week one

Fixtures and results

Week one: France 19-24 Wales; Scotland 33-20 Italy; Ireland 20-32 England
Week two: Scotland v Ireland, Italy v Wales, England v France
Week three: France v Scotland, Wales v England, Italy v Ireland
Week four: Scotland v Wales, England v Italy, Ireland v France
Week five: Italy v France, Wales v Ireland, England v Scotland

Match facts


  • France have not won at Twickenham since 2007 (in a Rugby World Cup warm-up match) and their only Six Nations victory in London was back in 2005.
  • England have won nine of their last 12 Six Nations matches against France.
  • France won the last meeting – a 22-16 win at the Stade de France in last year’s Six Nations.


  • Mako Vunipola and Mark Wilson both made 27 tackles against Ireland, the most by an England player in a Six Nations match.
  • Only New Zealand’s Rieko Ioane (11) has scored more Test tries since the beginning of 2018 than Jonny May’s nine.
  • They have never lost two consecutive home matches in the Six Nations (they lost 24-15 v Ireland in March).


  • France’s tally of six tries conceded was the fewest in the 2018 Six Nations – but they conceded half that total in their opening game against Wales.
  • They offloaded 13 times in their match with Wales, more than any other team on the opening weekend.
  • Jacques Brunel has managed just three victories in his first 12 games as head coach.

Match officials

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)

Touch judges: Andrew Brace (Ireland) & Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand)

TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

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