KEO News Wire

Farrell handed England captaincy as Hartley misses out

Owen Farrell will captain England for the first time against France in the Six Nations on Saturday as captain Dylan Hartley misses out.

Hartley had been a doubt with a tight calf, and he joins Jack Nowell (toe) and Sam Underhill (ankle) – substitutes last time out – on the sidelines after the pair were injured in training.

Saracens’ Jamie George replaces the England skipper at hooker, with Farrell handed the captaincy and continuing his 10-12 partnership with George Ford – despite coach Eddie Jones warning that “no-one is indispensable” after defeat to Scotland.

There are two personnel changes in the back line, though, with Ben Te’o in at outside centre and Elliot Daly returning at left wing.

Anthony Watson moves to full-back, while Jonny May swaps wings, with Mike Brown and Jonathan Joseph missing out.

“This game is about the opportunity for the team to move forward and we want a response from the players this week,” Jones said.

“Against France we want to be brutal and aggressive on the gain line and to play with a great tactical discipline.”

England: Anthony Watson, Jonny May, Ben Te’o, Owen Farrell (captain), Elliot Daly, George Ford, Danny Care; Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, Dan Cole, Joe Launchbury, Maro Itoje, Courtney Lawes, Chris Robshaw, Nathan Hughes.

Substitutes: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Joe Marler, Kyle Sinckler, James Haskell, Sam Simmonds, Richard Wigglesworth, Jonathan Joseph, Mike Brown. News wire is powered by opta

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