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England Elite Team to play France 26/2/11- Twickenham


By RFU Press Office
February 24 2011

England's Manager Martin Johnson has named his team for the crucial match against France this weekend in the 2011 RBS Six Nations Tournament.  Many class this match as the tournament decider.

England have made one change to the starting line-up for the RBS 6 Nations match against France at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday, February 26 (5pm).

Andrew Sheridan (Sale Sharks) returns at loose head prop in place of Alex Corbisiero (London Irish), who reverts to the bench in place of David Wilson (Bath Rugby).

Despite playing 23 minutes for Bath Rugby last weekend, and rejoining the England squad on Monday, flanker Lewis Moody has not made the matchday 22 to face France as he continues his recovery from a knee injury.

Having lined up together in the victories over Wales and Italy, the back row of James Haskell (Stade Francais), Nick Easter (Harlequins Rugby) and Tom Wood (Northampton Saints) will take on the French trio of Thierry Dusautoir, Imanol Harinordoquy and Sebastien Chabal. Hendrie Fourie continues to provide back row cover for England off the bench.

After two rounds of matches in the 2011 RBS 6 Nations, unbeaten England and France are the only teams who retain the opportunity of a Grand Slam, and England Manager Martin Johnson is enjoying the high profile build up to ‘le crunch’ match of the tournament.

“The bigger the game you play the more it goes back to what people call ‘the basics’ on the field,” said Johnson. “When the pressure is on we just need to execute and compete and put them under pressure. I enjoy the build up to this game and everyone wants to get there, get a ticket and watch it. Everyone over here wants us to win. We’ll concentrate on ourselves and try to improve over last week.”

The game will be live on BBC 1 and BBC Radio 5 Live. Score updates will be available at www.twitter.com/official_rfu and Steve Jones will be providing live text commentary through the free RFU iPhone app.

England Team to face France
Player Club
15 Ben Foden Northampton Saints
14 Chris Ashton Northampton Saints
13 Mike Tindall (C) Gloucester Rugby
12 Shontayne Hape Bath Rugby
11 Mark Cueto Sale Sharks
10 Toby Flood Leicester Tigers
9 Ben Youngs Leicester Tigers
1 Andrew Sheridan Sale Sharks
2 Dylan Hartley Northampton Saints
3 Dan Cole Leicester Tigers
4 Louis Deacon Leicester Tigers
5 Tom Palmer Stade Francais
6 Tom Wood Northampton Saints
7 James Haskell Stade Francais
8 Nick Easter Harlequins
Replacements
Player Club
16 Steve Thompson Leeds Carnegie
17 Alex Corbisiero London Irish 
18 Simon Shaw London Wasps
19 Hendre Fourie Leeds Carnegie
20 Danny Care Harlequins
21 Jonny Wilkinson RC Toulon
22 Matt Banahan Bath Rugby

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England Elite Team to play France 26/2/11- Twickenham
Posted by: Unofficial England Rugby Union (IP Logged)
Date: 24/02/2011 13:07

What do you think? You can have your say by posting below.
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Re: England Elite Team to play France 26/2/11- Twickenham
Posted by: PoyntonShark (IP Logged)
Date: 25/02/2011 00:53

Not too much to think I guess, with Moody not ready then I'm sure pretty much everyone would have predicted this team. A lttle tough on Corbisiero perhaps, but not unexpected, I'm sure he won't be complaining about being on the bench in such an important game.

I'm actually excited about an England game again, not felt like this for quite while, I pretty much always look forward to a game, even in the darkest days, but this is real anticipation, I can't wait.

I still have real concerns for our midfield, but if Haskell and co can keep Dussatoir and co away from Flood, then he can once again build a winning position for us.


I do wish people wouldn't refer to this game as the tournament decider though, there are 4 other teams in the tournament, I feel calling the middle week the decider is very disrespectful and only fuels Ireland and Scotland's desire to prove the statement wrong.

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Re: England Elite Team to play France 26/2/11- Twickenham
Posted by: Kath. (IP Logged)
Date: 25/02/2011 08:12

Poynts;
Quote:
I do wish people wouldn't refer to this game as the tournament decider though,

you have me to blame for that on this intro. However, MJ did say earlier in the week something similar.... so he thinks this game will be a decider as well. I mean it has to be really the only other one would be the last one Eng v Ireland?

 
Re: England Elite Team to play France 26/2/11- Twickenham
Posted by: PoyntonShark (IP Logged)
Date: 27/02/2011 04:32

Nah, it wasn't just you Kath, seen it all over the media for a couple of weeks now. Thought the Aussie pundits on ESPN coverage (Matt Bourke and Gordon Brae) got is spot on, when asked if this was the tournament decider both answered "No, but the winner is in the box seat".


Don't bet your shirt on Scotland not spoiling England's party.

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We are the angry mob. We read the papers every day. We like who we like, we hate who we hate, but we're also easily swayed.

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