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Sports

Six Nations: England make two changes for France

media England head coach Eddie Jones has announced two changes to the team that started against Ireland. Reuters/Andrew Boyers

England rugby union head coach Eddie Jones on Friday said his team would maintain their focus in their second game in the 2019 Six Nations tournament.
 

England opened their campaign on 2 February with an impressive 32-20 victory in Dublin over the reigning champions Ireland.

France, in their match on 1 February against Wales at the Stade de France, were as brilliant as they were blundering.

They raced into a 16-0 half-time lead but then a string of errors allowed the Welsh to recover for a 24-19 triumph.

Talent

"France are a team full of talent," said Jones. "They rely a lot on individual talents but they've got guys that can break the game open.

"But all we worry about is ourselves and getting ourselves organised. We've had a good look at France and what they can bring to the table."

Jones announced two changes to the starting line-up. Courtney Lawes replaces the injured Maro Itoje and Chris Ashton comes in for Jack Nowell.

"I think Chris might sneak us a try early in the game," Jones said. "Jack Nowell was brilliant against Ireland and he'll play a significant role for us off the bench.

"We just have to be organised in defence and have that relentless attitude to get after them."

France last won at Twickenham in 2005. Dimitri Yachvili scored all of his country's points from penalties in an 18-17 victory.

France coach Jacques Brunel has announced a physically powerful team for the 2019 clash.

Veteran centre Mathieu Bastareaud, who missed the Wales defeat, has been restored to midfield in one of six changes.

England skipper Owen Farrell said: "France are a very big team and very tough to play against.

"They can suck you in by playing one way and delivering in another. If you switch off for two seconds they will punish you because they have dangerous players across the park."

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