England vs France match preview: Stuart Lancaster tells players it's the last-chance saloon for World Cup sqiad

A look ahead to the friendly ahead of the Rugby World Cup

Matthew Adams
Thursday 13 August 2015 16:37
Setting out his stall: Stuart Lancaster is prioritising flexibility in his squad
Setting out his stall: Stuart Lancaster is prioritising flexibility in his squad

England take on France at Twickenham on Saturday night in the first of two QBE Internationals which will help determine which players will make their respective final 31 man squads for next month’s Rugby World Cup.

Saturday’s match will be the 100 test match between the two countries, and it will also be the first international match to use Hawkeye technology.

On Tuesday England Coach Stuart Lancaster, admitted that this is last chance saloon for a number of players in his squad ahead of the 31 August deadline.

Lancaster will give debuts to centre Henry Slade, flanker Calum Clark and most notably Sam Burgess, who will play at centre alongside Slade. Lancaster’s decision to play Rugby League convert Burgess, at centre has been criticised by many pundits, including 2003 World Cup Winner Matt Dawson.

France on the other hand will be looking to avenge the 55-35 defeat to England in the Six Nations back in March. Coach Phillipe Saint-Andre, has selected a 25 man squad and has promised to give all 25 players some game time over the course of the two matches.

Fly half François Trinh Duke, will be looking to win his 50 cap for Les Bleus on Saturday, and in doing so cement his place in France’s 31 man squad. Should he be successful it would represent a successful return to form after he suffered a broken leg playing for Montpellier in October last year.

The return match takes place on 22 August at the Stade de France in Paris.

England XV: Alex Goode; Anthony Watson, Henry Slade, Sam Burgess, Jonny May; Owen Farrell, Richard Wigglesworth; Mako Vunipola, Rob Webber, Kieran Brookes, George Kruis, Geoff Parling, Tom Wood, Calum Clark, Ben Morgan.

France from: Uini Atonio, Xavier Chiocci, Vincent Debaty, Nicolas Mas, Rabah Slimani, Guilhem Guirado Dimitri Szarzewski, Alexandre Flanquart, Yoann Maestri, Sébastien Vahaamahina, Yannick Nyanga, Fulgence Ouedraogo, loann Goujon, Louis Picamoles, Rory Kockott, Morgan Parra, Remi Tales, Francois Trinh Duke, Alexandre Dumoulin, Gaël Fickou, Rémi Lamerat, Brice Dulin, Sofiane Guitoune, Yoann Huget, Scott Spedding.

Last three meetings

England 55 – 35 France RBS Six Nations, March 2015

France 26 – 24 England RBS Six Nations, February 2014

England 23 – 13 France RBS Six Nations, February 2013

Where to watch it: Live on Sky Sports 1, 8pm. Highlights BBC One at 11.40pm

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