EXETER Chiefs’ Cornish star Jack Nowell has been left out of England’s starting XV to face France on Sunday in their second Six Nations match (3pm).
Nowell drops to the bench for the Twickenham fixture, where he joins club colleagues Luke Cowan-Dickie and Ben Moon, with Chris Ashton coming in on the wing. It will be Ashton’s first Six Nations start since 2013.
Ashton for Nowell and Courtney Lawes for the injured Maro Itoje are the only two changes Eddie Jones makes to his side that beat Ireland last weekend in Dublin.
Exeter’s Henry Slade keeps his place after scoring two tries against Ireland.
“After the Ireland game we have had to refocus and reset. Players have been very good and certainly by Sunday we’ll be at our best,” said Jones.
“The French are always an interesting side to play against. They are full of talent, they have a lot of unpredictability so it’s hard to prepare tactically against them so we have had a real focus on ourselves.”
England starting XV: 15 Elliot Daly (Wasps, 26 caps), 14 Chris Ashton (Sale Sharks, 43 caps), 13 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 18 caps), 12 Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 28 caps), 11 Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 41 caps), 10 Owen Farrell (Saracens, 66 caps) (c), 9 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 81 caps), 1 Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 52 caps), 2 Jamie George (Saracens, 33 caps), 3 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 18 caps), 4 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 69 caps), 5 George Kruis (Saracens, 28 caps), 6 Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons, 9 caps), 7 Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 6 caps), 8 Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 37 caps).
Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 8 caps), 17 Ben Moon (Exeter Chiefs, 4 caps), 18 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 82 caps), 19 Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 54 caps), 20 Nathan Hughes (Wasps, 19 caps), 21 Dan Robson (Wasps, uncapped), 22 George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 52 caps), 23 Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 30 caps).