Rugby | Two changes for France v England

Paris – France coach Guy Noves on Thursday made just two changes to his starting line-up for the final Six Nations match against England at the Stade de France on Saturday.

The game had been billed as a potential title decider, but the French lost 29-18 to Scotland in Edinburgh last weekend to scupper their hopes against the unbeaten English.

Noves, in his first season as France coach, resisted the urge to make wholesale changes despite accusing his team of making “stupid mistakes” against the Scots.

The two he did make to the starting XV are both in the back row with Loann Goujon and Bernard Le Roux coming in to add some extra bulk in place of Yacouba Camara et Wenceslas Lauret.

Goujon, who will play at No 8, gets a start for the first time since the 55-35 loss to England in the Six Nations closer last year although he did come off the bench this year against Ireland, Wales and Scotland.

Le Roux last played in the 62-13 loss to the All Blacks in the World Cup quarter-finals last October.

Francois Trinh-Duc keeps his job at flyhalf despite a sputtering display against the Scots as part of a backs division that is unchanged.

England will be going for their first Grand Slam since their World Cup winning year of 2003, while France will want to deny them that honour and finish with three wins against two defeats.



Scott Spedding, 14 Wesley Fofana, 13 Gaël Fickou, 12 Maxime Mermoz, 11
Virimi Vakatawa, 10 François Trinh-Duc, 9 Maxime Machenaud, 8 Loann
Goujon, 7 Bernard le Roux, 6 Damien Chouly, 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Alexandre
Flanquart, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Guilhem Guirado (captain), 1 Jefferson

Substitutes: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Uini Atonio, 18 Xavier
Chiocci, 19 Paul Jedrasiak, 20 Wenceslas Lauret, 21 Sébastien Bézy, 22
Jules Plisson, Maxime Médard


Mike Brown, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Owen Farrell, 11
Jack Nowell, 10 George Ford, 9 Danny Care, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 James
Haskell, 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 George Kruis, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Dan Cole, 2
Dylan Hartley (captain), 1 Mako Vunipola

Substitutes: 16 Luke
Cowan-Dickie, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Kieran Brookes, 19 Joe Launchbury, 20
 Jack Clifford, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Manu Tuilagi, 23 Elliot Daly

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