British & Irish Lions

England promise 'absolute brutality' against France

George Furbank (PA)
George Furbank (PA)

Paris - Eddie Jones has promised "absolute brutality" from England as he handed in-form Northampton fullback George Furbank his debut against France in the Six Nations in Paris on Sunday.

Kick-off is at 17:00 SA time.

Owen Farrell was named at inside centre and will captain the side with 675 caps in the starting XV.

"We have really worried about ourselves, getting ourselves right," said Jones.

"We have picked a strong forward pack which is part of the England way and an exciting backline with young George Furbank playing his first Test at fullback."

Manu Tuilagi partners Farrell in midfield, with George Ford and Ben Youngs linking up at half-back.

Elliot Daly and Jonny May are on the wings, with Anthony Watson a late unavailability due to injury.

Tom Curry is selected as No 8 alongside flanks Sam Underhill, at openside, and Courtney Lawes.

Charlie Ewels will partner Maro Itoje in the second row with Jamie George, Joe Marler and Kyle Sinckler making up England's front row.

"It has been a massively exciting week for us, said Jones, who led England to the final of last season's Rugby World Cup in Japan, where they lost to South Africa 32-12 in the final.

"It is the start of the Guinness Six Nations, the best rugby tournament in the world. We have had a great preparation in Portugal with a quality training week this week.

"France can expect absolute brutality from England, we are going to go out there to make sure they understand what Test rugby is.

"It is about being brutal, it is about being physical and it is about dominating the set piece."

Prop Will Stuart is included among the replacements and is the second uncapped player in the match day 23.

Luke Cowan-Dickie, Ellis Genge, George Kruis and Lewis Ludlam complement the forward contingent on the bench, with Willi Heinz, Ollie Devoto and Jonathan Joseph offering backline options.

Kruis is one of five players in the 23 from disgraced English and European champions Saracens.

The club have been mired in a salary cap scandal that caused them to accept demotion the second-tier Championship next season.

Teams:

France

15 Anthony Bouthier, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Virimi Vakatawa, 12 Gael Fickou, 11 Damian Penaud, 10 Romain Ntamack, 9 Antoine Dupont, 8 Grégory Alldritt, 7 Charles Ollivon (captain), 6 François Cros, 5 Paul Willemse, 4 Bernard Le Roux, 3 Mohamed Haouas, 2 Julien Marchand, 1 Cyril Baille

Substitutes: 16 Peato Mauvaka, 17 Jefferson Poirot, 18 Demba Bamba, 19 Boris Palu, 20 Cameron Woki, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Matthieu Jalibert, 23 Vincent Rattez

England

15 George Furbank, 14 Jonny May, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Owen Farrell (captain), 11 Elliot Daly, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Tom Curry, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Courtney Lawes, 5 Charlie Ewels, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Joe Marler

Substitutes: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Will Stuart, 19 George Kruis, 20 Lewis Ludlam, 21 Willi Heinz, 22 Ollie Devoto, 23 Jonathan Joseph

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