London Irish have dropped Owen Cobbe and Aran Verling from their side to play local rivals Harlequins in the fifth round of the Pilkington Cup on Saturday. Cobbe's place at stand-off goes to Steve Cathcart while Verling is replaced by Phil Irons at No 8.The Australian scrum-half Tim Ewington will skipper the side.
Eric Champ, the former French captain, announced his retirement from the game yesterday. The 32-year-old flanker, who played club rugby at Toulon for over 15 years, won 45 caps for France between 1981 and 1991.
ENGLAND A (v France A, Leicester, 3 February): P Hull (Bristol); D Hopley, N Greenstock (Wasps), S Potter (Leicester), J Sleightholme (Bath); P Grayson (Northampton), S Bates (Wasps, capt); R Hardwick (Coventry), M Regan (Bristol), J Mallett (Bath), G Archer (Newcastle Gosforth), S Shaw (Bristol), L Dallaglio (Wasps), A Diprose (Saracens), N Back (Leicester). Replacements: H Thorneycroft (Northampton), J Harris (Leicester), R Kitchin (Harlequins), D Garforth, R Cockerill (Leicester), R Hill (Saracens).
france a squad (v England): O Campan (Agen), W Techoueyres (SBUC), S Loubsens (Mont-de-Marsan), P Carbonneau (Toulouse), B Salles (Pau), D Charvet (Racing), A Hueber (Toulon), E Meynieu (Montferrand), F Landreau (Grenoble), P Gallart (Beziers), A Berthozat (Begles-Bordeaux), D Deslandes (Racing), A Costes (Montferrand), N Hallinger (Colomiers), S Dispagne (Narbonne). Replacements: O Toulouze (Lourdes), B Bellot (Graulhet), J Cazalbou (Toulouse), L Loppy (Toulon), S Graou (Auch), H Guiraud (Nimes).Reuse content