Saturday 19 January 2019

Dylan Hartley ruled out of England's Six Nations clash with France as Owen Farrell takes armband

England's Dylan Hartley
England's Dylan Hartley

Dylan Hartley has been ruled out of England's NatWest 6 Nations match against France with a tight calf.

Owen Farrell will captain the team in Hartley's absence in Paris on Saturday afternoon, the Rugby Football Union has announced.

Hartley sustained the injury in training at the start of the week and has been forced to concede defeat in his race to be fit.

Farrell starts as England skipper for the first time. Mako Vunipola has been named vice-captain with Jamie George taking over at hooker.

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Hartley has been ever-present under head coach Eddie Jones, starting all but one of his 26 Tests in charge and always acting as skipper.

"Owen will be very proud to be captain but at the same time he's disappointed for Dylan to miss out through injury. He knows the position of captain carries a lot of responsibility," Jones said.

"We need to make sure we have one strong voice among the forward leaders and Mako has been doing some great work behind the scenes. He will step up and take that on officially against France."

France have replaced Lionel Beauxis with the more experienced Francois Trinh-Duc for Saturday's NatWest 6 Nations clash with England in Paris.

The change at fly-half that sees the playmakers swap roles between the bench and starting XV is the only adjustment to the matchday 23 selected for the 34-17 victory over Italy.

Giant Toulon centre Mathieu Bastareaud continues at outside centre in a team led by hooker Guilhem Guirado.

ENGLAND: 15 Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby 31 caps), 14 Jonny May (Leicester Tigers 32 caps), 13 Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors 11 caps), 12 Owen Farrell (Saracens 56 caps) C, 11 Elliot Daly (Wasps 16 caps), 10 George Ford (Leicester Tigers 43 caps), 9 Danny Care (Harlequins 79 caps), 1 Mako Vunipola (Saracens 47 caps) VC, 2 Jamie George (Saracens 23 caps), 3 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers 80 caps), 4 Joe Launchbury (Wasps 50 caps), 5 Maro Itoje (Saracens 17 caps), 6 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints 64 caps), 7 Chris Robshaw (Harlequins 62 caps), 8 Nathan Hughes (Wasps 13 caps).

Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs 4 caps), 17 Joe Marler (Harlequins 54 caps), 18 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins 8 caps), 19 James Haskell (Wasps 75 caps), 20 Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs 5 caps), 21 Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens 29 caps), 22 Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby 38 caps), 23 Mike Brown (Harlequins 67 caps).

FRANCE: H Bonneval; B Fall, M Bastareaud, G Doumayrou, R Grosso; F Trinh-Duc, M Machenaud; J Poirot, G Guirado (capt), R Slimani, P Gabrillagues, S Vahaamhina, W Lauret, Y Camara, M Tauleigne.

Replacements: A Pelissie, D Priso, C Gomes, R Taofifenua, K Galletier, B Couilloud, L Beauxis, G Fickou.

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