Predicted England Team For France Clash Includes Interesting Choice At Number Eight

Le Crunch.

England boss Eddie Jones looks set to go with Tom Curry at number eight against France on Sunday in place of the injured Billy Vunipola.

Vunipola’s Saracens teammate Ben Earl was expected to get the nod but according to Chris Foy in the Daily Mail, Curry looks set to start at eight with Courtney Lawes at six and Sam Underhill at seven.

Elsewhere, Foy reckons George Kruis and Maro Itoje are set to form an all Saracens second-row with Mako Vunipola, Jamie George and Kyle Sinckler packing down in and all Lions front-row.

In the backline, Elliot Daly looks set to continue at fullback with Anthony Watson and Jonny May on either flank. Captain Owen Farrell will likely line out in the centre alongside Manu Tuilagi with George Ford at outhalf. Ben Youngs looks set to continue at fullback.

Asked about that selection issue at number eight this week with no specialist in the squad, defence coach John Mitchell said:

“Billy brings a point of difference with his ability to win the gainline with the ball, but within the back-row mix, we have three players with the versatility to play at No 8 — Lewis Ludlam, Ben Earl and Tom Curry.

“We have very good options. I’m very excited by the combination we have in the back row — their acceleration and their speed.”