Journal De Bruxelles - Jones wants England to have 'our own party' against Grand Slam-chasing France

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Jones wants England to have 'our own party' against Grand Slam-chasing France
Jones wants England to have 'our own party' against Grand Slam-chasing France

Jones wants England to have 'our own party' against Grand Slam-chasing France

England coach Eddie Jones has urged his reshaped side to "have our own party" against a "massively aroused" France when they try to deny Les Bleus a coveted Grand Slam in the final match of the 2022 Six Nations in Paris on Saturday.

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France will be bidding for their first clean sweep and title in 12 years, while the best England can hope for, following last week's record 32-15 loss at home to Ireland and a first-round defeat by Scotland, is a third-place finish.

In order to counter France's kicking game, Jones has recalled George Furbank at full-back for his first start of the tournament and moved the towering Freddie Steward to the wing after dropping Max Malins.

Jones has also selected Ben Youngs, England's most-capped player, at scrum-half in place of rising star Harry Randall, to give the team an additional kicking option.

"It's more tactical in terms of the way we think the game will be played," said Jones after naming his match-day 23 on Thursday.

"France are the highest kicking team in the world and I don't think they'll deviate away from that too much," he added.

"They're going to be a massively aroused team. They come through the centre with their big forwards and once they tie you up a little bit, they spread the ball to the backs.

"But they don't do that without using their long kicking game to get them up the field."

- 'French flair' -

The former Australia and Japan coach added: "When you play against France, particularly since (Fabien) Galthie (has) taken over the reins, they've gone back to an eight versus eight style of game where their forwards take on your forwards.

"And then they try to create a one on one in the backs, which is probably similar to how the old traditional flair French teams used to play."

Jones said it was important England avoided getting caught up in the hype surrounding France.

"It's more about having (our) own party," he said. "We want to finish the Six Nations strongly, so it's about creating our own party rather than spoiling France's."

Jones, who guided England to a Grand Slam six years ago, added: "There's a huge amount of excitement about achieving a Grand Slam. The great challenge for any human being is to stay in the moment."

England played most of the Ireland match a man down after lock Charlie Ewels was sent off in just the second minute and his place has now gone to Nick Isiekwe.

Sam Underhill replaces hamstring-injury victim Tom Curry at openside flanker and Will Stuart starts at prop, with Kyle Sinckler on the bench following a concussion sustained against Ireland.

England team to play France (15-1)

George Furbank; Freddie Steward, Joe Marchant, Henry Slade, Jack Nowell, Marcus Smith, Ben Youngs; Sam Simmonds, Sam Underhill, Courtney Lawes (capt); Nick Isiekwe, Maro Itoje; Will Stuart, Jamie George, Ellis Genge

Replacements: Nic Dolly, Joe Marler, Kyle Sinckler, Ollie Chessum, Alex Dombrandt, Harry Randall, George Ford, Elliot Daly

Coach: Eddie Jones (AUS)

Y.Niessen--JdB