England vs France Six Nations match preview: What time does it start and where can I watch it?

A look ahead to Saturday's Six Nations clash between England and France

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The Independent Online

When England take to the Twickenham turf on Saturday evening to face France in the Six Nations grand finale, they will know exactly how many points they will need to win by, to claim the Six Nations crown for the first time since 2011.

The English currently have a points difference of four better than Ireland and 25 more than Wales, so unless Scotland beat Ireland and Italy overcome Wales to cause two upsets in Saturday's first two fixtures, Stuart Lancaster's side will almost certainly have to chase down a total and re-establish a superior points difference.

Lancaster has made just one change to the team that beat Scotland 25-13 last weekend. Geoff Parling returns to the starting line up to replace Dave Attwood, who drops out of the match-day squad. Nick Easter takes Parling's spot on the bench, starting as second-row cover.

 

England lost against France in their opening encounter of last year's tournament and that narrow defeat in Paris ultimately cost them the title. The English will be out to exact revenge at Twickenham, where they have not lost to Les Blues since August 2007.

Philippe Saint Andre has made two injury-enforced changes to the team that eased past Italy in Rome.

Clermont Auvergne have pressured Saint Andre into omitting Camille Lopez from the squad, to allow him time to rest his injured knee, so Stade Francais' Julian Plisson comes at fly-half to win his sixth cap for France.

Plisson and Sebastien Tillous Borde become the 16th half-back partnership to start under Saint Andre's reign.

Eddy Ben Arous has not recovered from the arm injury he suffered in Rome so Vincent Debaty replaces him in the front row.

Jules-Plisson.jpg
Jules Plisson starts in place of Camille Lopez

Remi Tales and Uini Atonio have been recalled to the bench to replace Plisson and Debaty.

Les Blues are technically still in contention for the title, but for them to win the championship, the top three teams would have to lose and France would have to beat England by a massive margin.

TEAMS:

England: M Brown; A Watson, J Joseph, L Burrell, J Nowell; G Ford, B Youngs; J Marler, D Hartley, D Cole, G Parling, C Lawes, J Haskell, C Robshaw (capt), B Vunipola.

Replacements: T Youngs, M Vunipola, K Brookes, N Easter, T Wood, R Wigglesworth , D Cipriani, B Twelvetrees

France: S Spedding, Y Huget, G Fickou, M Mermoz, N Nakaitaci, J Plisson, S Tillous-Borde; V Debaty, G Guirado, N Mas, A Flanquart, Y Maestri, T Dusautoir (capt), B Le Roux, L Goujon.

Replacements: B Kayser, R Slimani, U Atonio, R Taofifenua, D Chouly, R Kockott, R Tales, M Bastareaud.

KICK-OFF: Saturday at 17.00

PAST THREE MEETINGS:

France 26 England 24, Six Nations, February 2014

England 23 France 13, Six Nations, February 2013

France 22 England 24, Six Nations, March 2012

STATS:

Neither team has won this fixture by more than 10 points since England won 34-10 in March 2009.

England have scored more tries (11) and made more clean breaks (39) than any other side in this season's Six Nations.

France have only beaten England at Twickenham twice since 2005.

ODDS:

England to win: 1.22

France to win: 4.5

Draw: 23.0

TV: Live on BBC 1 at 17.00

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