Six Nations 2019: England Squad to play France

England Rugby

England head coach Eddie Jones has retained 25 players to continue their preparation ahead of Sunday’s Guinness Six Nations match against France at Twickenham Stadium (KO 3pm).

Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs)
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks)
Jamie George (Saracens)
Nathan Hughes (Wasps)
George Kruis (Saracens)
Joe Launchbury (Wasps)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
Ben Moon (Exeter Chiefs)
Brad Shields (Wasps)
Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins)
Billy Vunipola (Saracens)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens)
Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons)

Chris Ashton (Sale Sharks)
Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby)
Elliot Daly (Wasps)
Owen Farrell (Saracens) captain
George Ford (Leicester Tigers)
Jonny May (Leicester Tigers)
Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs)
Dan Robson (Wasps) *
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)
Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

Ellis Genge and Harry Williams drop out of the squad, with Ben Moon and Dan Cole set to be in the matchday 23. Joe Cokanasiga and Brad Shields are back in the mix after missing out last week through injury.

How do you think England will line up?

23 thoughts on “Six Nations 2019: England Squad to play France

  1. If Cole is in the matchday squad I can’t see him doing anything other than starting. As an impact sub he offers very little.

    I would think a Launchbury/Kruis pairing with Lawes on the bench is also most likely.

    I’d like to see Cockanasiga start… maybe for May? Not that May is anything other than a #1 option these days, but that France aren’t Ireland or Wales, and without Brown I’d think Jones wants the scrappy Nowell in there.

    Likewise, I feel Wilson has nailed down #1 right now, but for depth and experience I’d think Shield might come in.

      1. I agree that May is a clear #1.

        And personally I’d bring Cokanasiga in for Nowell, but Eddie likes a battler in the back 3, which has been Brown historically, but seems to be Nowell now.

        But I think they’ve identified JC as a definite world cup squad member so they have to play him as much as possible in the run up – and home against France, Italy and Scotland seem like golden opportunities.

        1. I’m of the opinion that this is going to be a really hard game against France, so leaving out one of our true world class players is definitely not on. We’re going to need all of them to prevail. Happy to see JC replace Nowell though, who I think was in the team against Ireland to deal with the expected barrage of high balls.

          1. Agreed Staggy. You never know which French team will turn up. If we let them get on top physically they have the flair to give us real problems. I know some will scoff but in some ways , this could be more difficult than Ireland.
            we need to be quick and precise in thought and deed. If we can get them blowing and the seeds of doubt blossom, we could canter it. If they get the upper hand it will be a long old afternoon.

    1. Are really a Kiwi McMurph? Shields over Wilson? You’ll have 1certain punter here spitting tacks! Think Jones will stick to his last team as much as poss with Sinckler & Nowell to start. Yr picks off the bench?

  2. After a 75 minute shift last week i would be tempted to give Mako 35 mins off the bench this week. bringing Mako and Sinks on early in the 2nd to wreak havoc.
    In the second row Launchbury in for Itoje and again tempted to bring Lawes into a starting bearth to put the rattle the French backs. back row and backline unchanged but look to bring Robson on with enough time to have an impact

    1. Leon, wouldn’t it make more sense to start with yr perceived best team? Get on top, then bring the cavalry on? I’d go for Launchbury to start, but suspect EJ may go for Lawes. Maybe Robson later too if/when(?) the French fall off the stage.

  3. Any thoughts on Wales’ 10 replacements for their Italy game, including a change of captain?

    Comes across a bit disrespectful in my view; I appreciate the need to blood players and give players game time, but 10?

    You’d also think that with England being Wales’ next game that they might want a bit of continuity with their selection.

    1. It’s a little disrespectful, but Italy aren’t really earning the respect at the moment, and there aren’t many opportunities to experiment in Test rugby.

      It would be hilarious if it backfired though!

      1. 10 changes is a lot.
        Admittedly Italy arent the most frightening of opposition, but they are at home, pretty settled and likely to be more competitive than at Murrayfield where illness had an effect on their preparation.
        Wales are taking a bit of a chance.

        1. It wasn’t so long ago that a Welsh second side almost slipped up at home against Georgia and were only saved thanks to some front row shenanigans.
          I’d hate to see something similar happen against Italy…

    2. It is in Italy as well and that’s not always the easiest place to win. With bonus points possibly being really important this year now that Ireland have lost it may come back to haunt them, although they may end up with a $t bonus point win in which case Gatland knows exactly what he’s doing!

      As an aside, I realised that I picked my Superbru fantasy teams far too early. Have just had to change them as I was banking on the likes of AWJ, North and Tipuric picking up good points in this fixture. Doh

      1. I agree that Italy are not the greatest team at the moment but they tend to target the home games. The first XV hardy impressed for Wales last week and were handed a get out of jail free card by the French so an upset isn’t completely off the cards.

        i’m all for using easier games to try players out and I would like to see England use the Italy game to try a couple of things like starting Robson and maybe giving Cips a run out at 10 but wouldn’t be happy with 10 changes

  4. It may be 10 changes, but with quite a few of them it is debatable who is first choice:
    Bigger v Anscombe
    Davies v T Williams
    Wainwright and Young v Tipuric and Navidi
    Lee v Francis

    This is impressive depth for Wales, as frankly apart from AWJ and Owens this might be a better team than last weekend.

    1. Bigger vs Anscombe – agreed
      A.Davies vs T.Williams – neither is better than G.Davies
      Wainwright v Navidi – Wainwright is nowhere near
      Young v Tipuric – Young has potential but very much an unproven quantity at international level wile Tips is one of their best players
      Lee v Francis – potentially an improvement

      However you haven’t mentioned Holmes, Watkin, N.Smith, Dee or the front row replacements which are all a big step down in quality

      1. Hence I didn’t mention them… 😉

        I will admit to a little tongue in cheek. But think it is a reasonable point that there may be 10 changes, button there is very little drop in quality.
        I would agree on Tips v Young which is why I looked at both flankers. Don’t know too much about Wainwright, but lots of press was talking him up as the next coming… My opinion, and probably not shared by anyone, but I am not particularly overwhelmed by Navidi. Not bad, but nothing too special either. Thus, taking Don P as an example of leaping to the conclusion I wanted, decided that Tips/Navidi is equivalent to Young/Wainwright.

        1. I’ve been quietly impressed with Navidi. Carries well makes lots of tackles and works hard around breakdown. best option available at 6 currently.

          I think the issue with 10 changes isn’t just to do with the individual personnel either it also affects continuity with lots of new partnerships scattered across the team
          10 changes is just the staring lineup with further changes to the MD squad on the bench and a positional switch for Navidi

          1. So comparable to someone like Wilson, who I am a big fan of. I am probably just being completely one eyed due to the terrible hair. I mean even the Exeter squad would be embarrassed.

            It is a good point about continuity. The counter is that a big chunk is the front row being replaced as a unit and the half back pairing. Not entirely convinced by that myself.

            I would say that Gatland, similarly to Schmidt has developed quite a deep and interchangeable squad. Everyone is familiar with both the style/approach and each other, so you can switch in and out as needed without too big and impact. Reminds me on the England squad in 2003 and the ABs at the moment.

            All this aside. Yes 10 is a big number, but Italy frankly aren’t earning more respect than this selection, and selection of a lion’s FH isn’t particularly disrespectful. Anscombe may give overtaken Bigger, but only on style, not on quality.


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