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England retain 25 for France

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England name 25-man squad ahead of Le Crunch

Influential second row Maro Itoje, who suffered a medial ligament tear against Ireland, is not the only player to miss out for England, as Eddie Jones has cut his squad to 25 ahead of hosting France at Twickenham on Saturday.

The trio of Ben Te’o, Joe Cokanasiga and Brad Shields were all fit enough to take part in training this week, but only Cokanasiga and Shields have been retained by Jones, with Te’o not part of the final 25, despite being one of the Australian’s favoured performers over recent years.

Centre Manu Tuilagi was in impressive form against Ireland in England’s Guinness Six Nations opener and it seems as if he has done enough to keep his place at 12 going into the game against France.

Loosehead Ellis Genge, who was on the bench against Ireland, is another to miss out, with Exeter ChiefsBen Moon kept on by England, whilst Harry Williams, who was also on the bench in Dublin, has been replaced by Leicester TigersDan Cole.

Nick Isiekwe, who was called up as cover for the injured Itoje, has not be retained, either, signalling that one of Courtney Lawes or Joe Launchbury will start alongside George Kruis in the second row, with the other taking up duties as a replacement.

If England stick with the same XV that they went with against Ireland, Itoje’s enforced absence aside, that likely leaves competitions between Shields and Nathan Hughes for the last forward spot on the bench, and a similar tussle between Cokanasiga and Chris Ashton for the 23 jersey.

The full 25-man squad retained is as follows:

Forwards
Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs)
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks)
Jamie George (Saracens)
Nathan Hughes (Wasps)
George Kruis (Saracens)
Joe Launchbury (Wasps)
Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
Ben Moon (Exeter Chiefs)
Brad Shields (Wasps)
Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins)
Billy Vunipola (Saracens)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens)
Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons)

Backs
Chris Ashton (Sale Sharks)
Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby)
Elliot Daly (Wasps)
Owen Farrell (Saracens) captain
George Ford (Leicester Tigers)
Jonny May (Leicester Tigers)
Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs)
Dan Robson (Wasps) *
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs)
Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

Watch: Eddie Jones speaks to the press following England’s win over Ireland.

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England name 25-man squad ahead of Le Crunch