Dawson wins battle of D’s

Matt Dawson is in the match 15, but Lawrence Dallaglio has to be content with a second half subs role when England go to Paris in search of a Six Nations victory against France.

Forget Scotland’s claims on championship glory, whoever wins here will win the Six Nations.

Dawson will start at No 9, despite former England utility back Austin Healey urging Andy Robinson to drop the veteran halfback. Clearly, Healey’s opinions have meaning to Robinson.

Dallaglio remains on replacement duty for a fourth-successive Six Nations game, losing out to Martin Corry, who retains the captaincy.

Dawson was at the helm when England last beat France in Paris six years ago, so perhaps Robinson is going for a good luck omen.

In a surprise selection SA-born prop Matt Stevens has edged out giant Andy Sheridan in the front row.

England: J Lewsey (Wasps); M Cueto (Sale Sharks), J Noon (Newcastle), M Tindall (Gloucester), B Cohen (Northampton); C Hodgson (Sale Sharks), M Dawson (Wasps); M Stevens (Bath), S Thompson (Northampton), J White (Leicester), S Borthwick (Bath), D Grewcock (Bath), J Worsley (Wasps), L Moody (Leicester), M Corry (Leicester, capt). Subs: L Mears (Bath), A Sheridan (Sale Sharks), S Shaw (Wasps), L Dallaglio (Wasps), H Ellis (Leicester), A Goode (Leicester) and T Voyce (Wasps).