Poms change three

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Poms change three

Martin Johnson has made three alterations to his England team to face rivals France on Sunday.

Paul Sackey hasn’t recovered from a calf injury and is replaced by Ugo Monye on the wing in the only enforced change. Johnson said Sackey would have faced the axe even if he was fit.

“He has got an injury but we wanted to make the change,” said Johnson. “We have good options there but we went with a specialist winger in Ugo.

“He has had injury problems but has come back and looked strong and sharp.”

In the pack, Johnson has opted for blindsider Tom Croft and lock Simon Shaw ahead of James Haskell and Nick Kennedy.

“Nick is a little bit unlucky. It is a balance with the players you want on the field,” said Johnson.

“Simon Shaw and Nick are very different players. I said to Nick he has played well and not done anything wrong but it is about the balance.

“I said the same to James about Tom’s inclusion. Tom gives us a lineout option and he has been playing well.”

England -15 Delon Armitage, 14 Ugo Monye, 13 Mike Tindall, 12 Riki Flutey, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Harry Ellis; 8 Nick Easter, 7 Joe Worsley, 6 Tom Croft, 5 Simon Shaw, 4 Steve Borthwick (c), 3 Phil Vickery, 2 Lee Mears, 1 Andrew Sheridan.
Subs – 16 Dylan Hartley, 17 Julian White, 18 Nick Kennedy, 19 James Haskell, 20 Danny Care, 21 Andy Goode, 22 Mathew Tait.

Chabal moves to back row

France coach Marc Lievremont has made four changes to his line-up for Sunday’s clash against England at Twickenham.

Sebastien Chabal switches from the second row to blindside flanker while Benoit Baby, Fulgence Ouedraogo and Fabien Barcella are all omitted from the starting XV.

Montpellier’s Francois Trinh-Duc comes in at flyhalf having replaced the injured Baby during the win over Wales, while Chabal’s move opens the door for Jerome Thion at lock.

The other change sees Sale’s Lionel Faure replace Barcella in the front-row, while on the bench there are places for the recalled Florian Fritz, Damien Traille and Julian Bonnaire.

France – Maxime Medard, Julien Malzieu, Mathieu Bastareaud, Yannick Jauzion, Cedric Heymans, Francois Trinh-Duc, Morgan Parra, Imanol Harinordoquy, Sebastien Chabal, Thierry Dusautoir, Jerome Thion, Lionel Nallet (c), Sylvain Marconnet, Dimitri Szarzewski, Lionel Faure.
Sub – Benjamin Kayser, Thomas Domingo, Louis Picamoles, Julien Bonnaire, Sebastien Tillous-Borde, Florian Fritz, Damien Traille.

Sackey out of French clash

Winger Paul Sackey has been ruled out of England’s Six Nations game against France at Twickenham on Sunday with a calf injury.

Sackey has been struggling with an injury to his left calf that forced him off during the 14-13 defeat to Ireland at Croke Park. The Wasps winger was unable to train with the rest of the England squad this week and has been released back to his club.

England manager Martin Johnson seems likely to turn to either Harlequins’ Ugo Monye or Sale Sharks back Mathew Tait to replace Sackey who has been an ever-present for England in the tournament thus far.

Meanwhile, scrumhalf Danny Care will be involved against France despite widespread criticism for his sin-binning against Ireland.

Care was shown a yellow card for needless shove on Marcus Horan – an offence which produced a penalty that Ronan O’Gara kicked to ultimately secure Ireland’s victory.

This thread will be updated throughout the day.