Six Nations: Stuart Lancaster expecting major impact from bench against France

Courtney Lawes will make his first England start at blindside flanker as one of three changes

England head coach Stuart Lancaster believes the recall of Manu Tuilagi, Dylan Hartley and Courtney Lawes to his starting line-up and the impact players available to him on the bench can be a winning combination against France at Twickenham on Saturday.

Lancaster has opted for Tuilagi at centre in place of Billy Twelvetrees, while Hartley replaces Tom Youngs at hooker and lock Lawes comes in at blindside flanker in place of James Haskell as England face the latest test to their RBS Six Nations Grand Slam ambitions.

But while Lancaster is comfortable with his starting XV he is at pains to stress that the impact of his bench players could be crucial to the outcome.

"I don't think the game is going to be won and lost in the first half," he told Sky Sports 1.

"For me the games have three key components - one is the setpiece, one is the gainline and the other is having an impact in the second half, especially in the last 20 minutes.

"As the second half unfolds we are looking at players to come on and make an impact.

"The likes of Danny Care, who is desperately unlucky not to be starting. Also Billy's (Twelvetrees) passing game when the match opens up."

On his decision to start Tuilagi, after bringing him on from the bench against Ireland, Lancaster said: "Manu brings a lot to our game as you saw in the New Zealand match (autumn Test).

"I think Manu gives us good gainline options and also good options defensively."

As for the restoration of Hartley, Lancaster said: "Dylan has been patient. He is one of our most experienced players and he's a bigger, heavier man than Tom.

"Also part of the equation is Tom's dynamic impact when he comes on in the second half."

Lawes returns with Haskell's preparations disrupted by flu and Lancaster believes he can help counter the threat of the French from lineouts.

"Courtney brings a lot more than lineout presence," he said. "Defensively he is one of our best players.

"The lineout is a significant part of the game. France drive well at lineouts and we have good defensive options there to counter that in Courtney and Geoff Parling."

Lancaster's three changes to his starting line-up have been surpassed by France coach Philippe Saint-Andre, who has made eight changes to his.

Saint-Andre has opted for a new half-back pairing, with Morgan Parra and Francois Trinh-Duc replacing Maxime Machenaud and Frederic Michalak.

Vincent Clerc returns on the right wing, with Wesley Fofana switching to his preferred role of centre.

"It's interesting to see the French team and the changes they've made," said Lancaster.

"You look at the list of names and how many caps and experience they've got. There are some very good players there. I think it is a good side, a good mix."

Asked how hard he was finding it to decide on his tactics given the inconsistency and unpredictability of the French, Lancaster replied: "It's not hard. There is lots of footage for us to look at.

"We can look at their side and see the shape they are trying to play."

England team to play France in the RBS 6 Nations at Twickenham on Saturday, February 23 (kick-off 1700): A Goode (Saracens); C Ashton (Saracens), M Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), B Barritt (Saracens), M Brown (Harlequins); O Farrell (Saracens), B Youngs (Leicester Tigers); J Marler (Harlequins), D Hartley (Northampton Saints), D Cole (Leicester Tigers), J Launchbury (London Wasps), G Parling (Leicester Tigers), C Lawes (Northampton Saints), C Robshaw (Harlequins, capt), T Wood (Northampton Saints).

Replacements: T Youngs (Leicester Tigers), D Wilson (Bath Rugby), M Vunipola (Saracens), J Haskell (London Wasps), T Waldrom (Leicester Tigers), D Care (Harlequins), T Flood (Leicester Tigers), B Twelvetrees (Gloucester Rugby).

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence