Eddie Jones has made two changes to his starting XV as England bid to win their first Grand Slam in 13-years when they travel to Paris to face France in the final round of the 2016 Six Nations on Saturday evening.
England have already claimed their first Six Nations title since 2011 after Scotland ended France’s hopes with a victory at Murrayfield on Sunday. Now Jones and his team have the Grand Slam in their sights.
At scrum-half Danny Care replaces Ben Youngs and Mako Vunipola comes in for Joe Marler at loosehead prop; with Youngs and Marler both dropping down to the bench. There were concerns over the fitness of captain Dylan Hartley but he has shaken off his knock and will again lead the side.
On the selection Jones said: “We’ve picked our best 23 who we know can get the job done in Paris. Everyone wants to be on the field this Saturday so selection was nip and tuck. Danny Care starts at scrum-half with Ben Youngs finishing the game.
“Mako Vunipola comes in at loose-head prop for Joe Marler who will make an impact off the bench.
“While we are pleased to have already won the championship we don’t want to let our foot off the gas.”
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) 17 March 2016
England looking to end 13-years of Six Nations agony
Jones and his coaches have done a remarkable job of transforming England’s fortunes since the ill-fated World Cup campaign. While the players have largely remained the same, the attitude of the players and style of play is unrecognisable.
For the first 70 minutes against Wales, England were completely dominant and should have been out of sight. Wales staged their late comeback much like the World Cup, but this time England held firm.
While Jones says that he is surprised by the progress of the side, I’m sure in the back of his mind he will have been quietly confident that the title was within reach.
Jones added: “The objective has always been to win every game, to be the most dominant team in Europe, so it’s been very important for us to approach this week with the same level of intensity we have shown in previous weeks.”
England’s next major games at Twickenham take place in November when the best Southern Hemisphere teams arrive in the UK. Let’s hope we can cheer them on as Six Nations winners and Grand Slam champions.
For more information please see our Twickenham Autumn Internationals hospitality page.