Ashton makes 11 changes for France

Just four of the team that thrashed Wales have been named in the side to play France at Twickenham this weekend – Shaun Perry, Andrew Sheridan, Simon Shaw and Mark Regan will appear again.

Dan Ward-Smith has finally been released after losing his fight for fitness after a knee injury.  Lawrence Dallaglio will start at Number 8, with James Haskell at blindside and Lewis Moody on the openside flank.

Of the other injured players, Charlie Hodgson and Mike Tindall miss out again, but the fact that they have not been released suggest they might still make the squad.  Olly Barkley starts at fly-half, with Mike Catt at inside centre (and captain) and Jamie Noon outside him.

Nick Abendanon has been handed an opportunity to impress at full back, with Paul Sackey and Josh Lewsey on the wings.

In the pack, it would appear that Tom Palmer is the unlucky lock to miss out, as he has not been named on the squad.  Instead, Ben Kay will line up alongside Simon Shaw behind what many suspect could be the first-choice front row.

Sheridan, Regan and Matt Stevens is an impressively heavy unit and the pack as a whole indicates that Ashton is sticking with the idea of a forward-dominated game.

Bernard Laporte has named his match 22, and will announce the starting line-up on Thursday.

Nick Abendanon, Paul Sackey, Jamie Noon, Mike Catt (captain), Josh Lewsey, Olly Barkley, Shaun Perry, Lawrence Dallaglio, Lewis Moody, James Haskell, Ben Kay, Simon Shaw, Matt Stevens, Mark Regan, Andrew Sheridan,


Lee Mears, Phil Vickery, Martin Corry, Joe Worsley, Andy Gommarsall, Jonny Wilkinson, Danny Cipriani.