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England's Chris Ashton gets rare Six Nations start

10 February 2019

Ashton, who came off the bench late in the Dublin game, will be making his first Six Nations start for six years, and replaces Jack Nowell, who drops to the bench.

"You have to show an unrelenting desire to want to play for your country, which Chris has done", said Jones in reference to Ashton's decision to sign for Sale in order to revive his Test career.

'Jack Nowell was brilliant against Ireland and he'll play a significant role for us off the bench.

That Jones decided to make changes to his side was no surprise given that Maro Itoje was ruled out with the knee injury that he suffered last week. Joe Launchbury brings more second-row bulk to the bench.

Itoje was expected to be missing until the final rounds but he could now be back sooner than expected from his grade two medial ligament tear, although Jones declined to reveal whether that would be in time for the February 23 clash with Wales. We have got great depth in the squad so Joe Launchbury and Courtney Lawes will fill his shoes very well.

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Neither flanker Brad Shields nor winger Joe Cokanasiga have made the matchday 23 despite recovering from respective side and knee injuries.

"I went with JP Pietersen to commentate on the game and thinking that was a year ago, yeah, I'd never have thought we'd be sat here with me about to play France", said Ashton ahead of his first Six Nations start this weekend against the French since the harrowing 30-3 defeat against Wales in 2013.

"After the Ireland game we have had to refocus and reset", said Jones, speaking before France announced their side for Twickenham earlier Friday.

France have not won at Twickenham in 14 years, with their only victory in the Six Nations era coming in 2005.

"He's a finisher. We feel that maybe early in the game, as he did against New Zealand, he can find the line for us".

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Bastareaud was one of six changes made by France after losing to Wales 24-19 in Paris.

We can't wait to play in front of our supporters, I'm sure they will be buoyant by the first round results and we promise we will play a better game on Sunday.

Chiefs' Cornish star Jack Nowell has been left out of England's starting XV to face France on Sunday in their second Six Nations match (3pm). "We know the impact Mathieu can have and faced with the English strength in midfield, notably Manu Tuilagi, he could have a good impact". Owen Farrell (captain), 9.

It is a courageous move selecting Bamba at prop for such a big game ahead of Atonio, who has 32 test caps, especially considering Bamba's only two worldwide appearances were from the bench and he will be up against Mako Vunipola. Northampton's Courtney Lawes takes his place alongside George Kruis.

Replacements: 16. Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17.

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England's Chris Ashton gets rare Six Nations start