Journal De Bruxelles - England back Furbank to improve on France debut in Six Nations finale

NYSE - LSE
CMSC 0% 24.48 $
RYCEF 4.12% 5.525 $
RBGPF -2.33% 56.32 $
SCS -0.08% 13.22 $
BCC -0.35% 137.09 $
CMSD 0% 24.24 $
NGG 0.03% 72.39 $
GSK 0.02% 44.6 $
BCE 0.28% 34.165 $
JRI 0.26% 11.61 $
RELX -0.16% 44.05 $
VOD -1.67% 9.59 $
BP 0.16% 37.32 $
BTI 0.38% 31.47 $
RIO 0.58% 73.82 $
AZN 1.43% 78.23 $
England back Furbank to improve on France debut in Six Nations finale
England back Furbank to improve on France debut in Six Nations finale

England back Furbank to improve on France debut in Six Nations finale

George Furbank will return to the scene of his ill-fated England debut in Paris on Saturday, with team management confident the full-back can handle the "biggest game of his career" against Grand Slam-chasing France.

Text size:

England coach Eddie Jones, expecting a high-kicking game from the hosts at the Stade de France, has recalled Furbank for the last game of the 2022 Six Nations, with Freddie Steward moved to the right wing.

This will be Furbank's maiden appearance in this season's Championship and his first in Paris since a debut where England began the 2020 edition with a 24-17 defeat.

The now 25-year-old Northampton back also started against Scotland before being dropped from the squad and has won just five caps in total.

Jones, however, said Thursday: "We see George as a valuable player going forward. In the modern game, in terms of full-back, he has all the repertoire to be successful.

"He can also fill in at fly-half, which we saw against Tonga in the autumn, and he's been doing that for his club.

"Because of the way that France play, we think he's the best full-back and Freddie's the best winger for us. For this game. It's a one-off selection."

Veteran coach Jones added: "It's funny how the cycle goes. In two years, George has gone from being a debutant to now playing the biggest game of his career up to this stage -- and he's well-equipped to handle it.

"Most young players go through a fair bit of ups and downs... What you'll see on Saturday is a much better-prepared player than you saw two years ago."

Sam Underhill has replaced Tom Curry at openside flanker after his fellow 'Kamikaze Kid', as Jones once dubbed the pair, was ruled out with a hamstring injury in last week's 32-15 defeat by Ireland at Twickenham.

Saturday's match will be Curry's first game for England since the autumn series following injury, concussion and illness.

"Having lost Tom Curry, the timing of having Sam Underhill available and fit and ready to go is uncanny," said Jones. "We have been really blessed in that area.

"Sam at his best is one of the best open side flankers in the world. His ability to chop tackle, his ability to get his head over the ball, the ability to be a powerful ball carrier, is second to none.

"He's come back in with a real spring in his step."

D.Verheyen--JdB