France vs England LIVE
26 min – A huge roar from the French crowd as they steal the ball in their own 22. A third overturn from England inside half hour. A brilliant kick puts England back inside their own 22.
The view from our man Neil Squires in Paris
Shades of the World Cup final in this start by England as a revved-up French show they can do brutality too.
Shaun Edwards will be delighted with the weight of the defence so far with England on the receiving end of some hefty hits.
England may argue a knock-on from Vincent Rattez for the second French try but play to the whistle…schoolboy stuff.
With Manu Tuilagi’s race run already, this is a serious challenge now for England.
19 min – TRY FRANCE! England all at sea at the moment and they just stopped there expecting the whistle to be blown. Rattez picks up a loose ball before he pops it off to France captain Ollivon to slide over the line. Ntamack converts for the extra two.
15 min – Worse news for England as Tuilagi has been forced off the field with Joseph coming on to replace him.
13 min – Penalty France! Ntamack sends up a high ball into the corner but Daly is beaten to collect it and Ewels ends up giving away the penalty. Ntamack converts for the three points.
11 min – England second best to every breakdown so far. France whipping the ball around from side to side with ease.
6 min – TRY FRANCE! Rattez the man to take it over the line but some excellent quick passing from the French side to break through England’s back line. Ntamack sends it over the extras.
4 min – England almost break through immediately as Jonny May makes a dart up the field only to be stopped by the French defence.
Another snippet from Express Sport man Neil Squires
French crowd at the Stade de France concentrating their traditional pre-match team rundown booing on Owen Farrell. Eddie Jones on the receiving end too after his talk of a brutal rugby lesson heading France’s way.
1 min – Looks like a cracking atmosphere at Stade de France. There’s a level of optimism around this France side as well in a new World Cup cycle. England will need a fast start to get on top of that.
And we’re underway!
Express Sport man Neil Squires reports from Paris as England prepare to do battle with France:
England running through a lot of broken-field kick return counter-attack in the warm-up at a damp Stade de France. Conditions might favour a pragmatic approach with the slippery ball but it looks as if England may have it in their minds to play.
Well, I guess you don’t become the greatest side rugby has ever seen with kick and clap.
“It’s a new tournament, we’re excited to be part of the best tournament in the world and facing this young French side.
“We’ve been through some grieving after the World Cup final, we’ve reflected on what we did and we’re in a good position to start our campaign here today.
“George Furbank is a good young player, his core skills and positional sense are very impressive.”
George Furbank is the man who comes in for the injured Anthony Watson in England’s back line to make his England debut.
Mako Vunipola is being rested by Eddie Jones while Ellis Genge has been named on the bench.
2.15pm: Here’s a run down of the teams:
France: 15-Anthony Bouthier, 14-Teddy Thomas, 13-Virimi Vakatawa, 12-Gael Fickou, 11-Vincent Rattez, 10-Romain Ntamack, 9-Antoine Dupont; 1-Cyril Baille, 2-Julien Marchand, 3-Mohamed Haouas, 4-Bernard Le Roux, 5-Paul Willemse, 6-Francois Cros, 7-Charles Ollivon, 8-Gregory Alldritt
Replacements: 16-Peato Mauvaka, 17-Jefferson Poirot, 18-Demba Bamba, 19-Boris Palu, 20-Cameron Woki, 21-Baptiste Serin, 22-Matthieu Jalibert, 23-TBC
England: 15-George Furbank, 14-Jonny May, 13-Manu Tuilagi, 12-Owen Farrell (captain), 11-Elliot Daly, 10-George Ford, 9-Ben Youngs; 1-Joe Marler, 2-Jamie George, 3-Kyle Sinckler, 4-Maro Itoje, 5-Charlie Ewels, 6-Courtney Lawes, 7-Sam Underhill, 8-Tom Curry
Replacements: 16-Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17-Ellis Genge, 18-Will Stuart, 19-George Kruis, 20-Lewis Ludlam, 21-Willi Heinz, 22-Ollie Devoto, 23-Jonathan Joseph
2pm: Good afternoon and welcome to Express Sport’s live blog as England start their 2020 Six Nations with a trip to France.
There’s plenty of anticipation building ahead of kick off with England for playing the first time since the heartbreaking World Cup final defet three months ago. Kick off is an hour away so stay tuned as we bring you live updates throughout.