Marler drops to bench for France clash, Care in for Youngs


After being cleared to feature against France in England's final Six Nations fixture, Joe Marler has nevertheless lost his starting place to Mako Vunipola.

Marler learned on Thursday that he had escaped sanction for two separate incidents in last weekend's victory over Wales, with an independent disciplinary committee opting not to suspend the Harlequins prop for striking Rob Evans or calling Samson Lee a "gypsy boy" - a comment for which Marler swiftly apologised.

However, Mako Vunipola will start at loosehead as England aim to complete a first Grand Slam since 2003 at the Stade de France on Saturday, with Marler named among England's replacements.

The other change to Eddie Jones' starting XV comes at scrum-half, where Danny Care is preferred to Ben Youngs.

"Everyone wants to be on the field this Saturday, so selection was nip and tuck," said Jones.

England have already wrapped up the Six Nations title, but Jones highlighted the importance of completing an unbeaten campaign.

"While we are pleased to have already won the championship, we don't want to let our foot off the gas. 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.

"France are a dangerous side but we go to Paris full of confidence and a hunger to get the win."

Manu Tuilagi will be on the bench again after returning to international rugby last week, while England have confirmed Tommy Taylor and Alex Goode will travel to Paris with the matchday squad.


England team to face France: Mike Brown, Anthony Watson, Jonathan Joseph, Owen Farrell, Jack Nowell, George Ford, Danny Care; Mako Vunipola, Dylan Hartley, Dan Cole, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Chris Robshaw, James Haskell, Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Joe Marler, Kieran Brookes, Joe Launchbury, Jack Clifford, Ben Youngs, Manu Tuilagi, Elliot Daly.