Stuart Lancaster has announced his team to take on France this weekend in the opening round of the Six Nations.
As expected the team has a very youthful, and inexperienced, feel to it, with two debutants in the backline, and another player with just one cap. Luther Burrell and Jack Nowell are the new caps, while Jonny May joins them with the one he won against Argentina over the summer.
The pack almost picks itself, with the only slightly contentious call the selection of Joe Marler over Mako Vunipola – presumably to shore up the scrum a bit.
There is no recognised fly-half replacement on the bench, meaning if Farrell were to get injured either Billy Twelvetrees or Alex Goode would be forced into action there – a big ask considering they are both reasonably inexperienced in the role, certainly at international level.
England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster said: “We can’t wait for Saturday. We’ve had a good two weeks and all the players have pushed hard for selection.
“Congratulations to Jack and Luther who deserve their chance, as does Jonny May starting his first RBS 6 Nations game. It’s also great to see Brad Barritt back with his experience and leadership in the 23, while Alex Goode will give us good cover at 15 and 10.
“We felt the pack went well in the autumn and it’s right to leave it unchanged but we have some quality players, including two British Lions in Tom and Mako, to come on.”
George Ford (Bath Rugby), Matt Mullan (London Wasps) and Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby) will travel as cover.
England (v France, RBS 6 Nations, Stade de France, Saturday, 5pm)
15 Mike Brown (Harlequins, 21 caps) 14 Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, uncapped) 13 Luther Burrell (Northampton Saints, uncapped) 12 Billy Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby, 8 caps) 11 Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 1 cap) 10 Owen Farrell (Saracens, 19 caps) 9 Danny Care (Harlequins, 42 caps) 1 Joe Marler (Harlequins, 15 caps) 2 Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints, 50 caps) 3 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 43 caps) 4 Joe Launchbury (London Wasps, 14 caps) 5 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 25 caps) 6 Tom Wood (Northampton Saints, 23 caps) 7 Chris Robshaw (Harlequins, capt, 20 caps) 8 Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 5 caps)
Replacements: 16 Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 12 caps) 17 Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 10 caps) 18 Henry Thomas (Sale Sharks, 2 caps) 19 Dave Attwood (Bath Rugby, 5 caps) 20 Ben Morgan (Gloucester Rugby, 15 caps) 21 Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints, 12 caps) 22 Brad Barritt (Saracens, 16 caps) 23 Alex Goode (Saracens, 13 caps)
Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images