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Page last updated at 09:55 GMT, Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Six Nations: France ring changes for key England match

RBS Six Nations: England v France
Venue: Twickenham Date: Saturday, 26 February Kick-off: 1700 GMT
Coverage: Watch on BBC One, BBC HD channel, Red Button and BBC Sport website; post-match forum 1900-1930; listen on BBC Radio 5 live & online; text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobiles


Sebastien Chabal
Chabal could lock horns with Lewis Moody at Twickenham

France have rung the changes for Saturday's crunch Six Nations encounter with England at Twickenham.

Back row Sebastien Chabal, wing Vincent Clerc, scrum-half Dimitri Yachvili and centre Yannick Jauzion are recalled.

Maxime Medard had been moved to full-back in place of Clement Poitrenaud, but is a doubt with a thigh injury.

Morgan Parra and Julien Bonnaire have been omitted for the eagerly awaited meeting between the two remaining teams with 100% records in the competition.

France defeated Scotland in their opening game while they scraped past Ireland in Dublin two weeks ago.

"I think that there will be a lot of rhythm and intensity in the match and again the bench will be important," said France coach Marc Lievremont.

"I don't have the feeling that I'm taking risks. To bring in lads like Vincent Clerc, Yannick Jauzion and Dimitri Yachvili into a clash which promises to be hostile is rather reassuring."

Yachvili takes over the scrum-half duties from Parra, while Jauzion replaces Damien Traille in midfield.

In the back row, Racing Metro powerhouse Chabal is named at number eight, with Imanol Harinordoquy, who has been in fine form so far in this year's Six Nations, moving to the open-side flank in place of Bonnaire.

Meanwhile, France defensive coach Dave Ellis has revealed that plans have been devised to stop wing Chris Ashton, who scored four tries as England thrashed Italy 59-13 last time out.

Ashton, who began his rugby career in league with Wigan Warriors before switching codes to join Northampton in 2007, also scored twice in the opening Six Nations match against Wales but Ellis told the Daily Telegraph: "Ashton can be stopped.

"We used to stop [former England winger] Jason Robinson from scoring. You've just got to make sure that he doesn't get the ball when he wants it.

"It's not just about closing one man down. If you concentrate on doing that, then it only takes away your focus from elsewhere.

Former London Irish defensive coach Ellis, who now also advises Gloucester on defensive policies, added: "First and foremost, you've got to stop giving England decent ball.

"Italy gave them far too much. They just let them play. They were allowed to play at their own tempo. We won't let them do that."


France: Maxime Medard (Toulouse); Yoann Huget (Bayonne), Aurelien Rougerie (Clermont), Yannick Jauzion (Toulouse), Vincent Clerc (Toulouse); Francois Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), Dimitri Yachvili (Biarritz); Thomas Domingo (Clermont), William Servat (Toulouse), Nicolas Mas (Perpignan), Julien Pierre (Clermont), Lionel Nallet (Racing-Metro), Thierry Dusautoir (Toulouse, captain), Imanol Harinordoquy (Biarritz), Sebastien Chabal (Racing-Metro).
Replacements: Guilhem Guirado (Perpignan), Sylvain Marconnet (Biarritz), Jerome Thion (Biarritz), Julien Bonnaire (Clermont), Morgan Parra (Clermont), Damien Traille (Biarritz), Clement Poitrenaud (Toulouse).



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see also
Lievremont hits out at 'English'
21 Feb 11 |  Rugby Union
Johnson laughs off Lievremont barb
21 Feb 11 |  Rugby Union
'Big boys' England await France
19 Feb 11 |  Rugby Union
England-France is 'title decider'
14 Feb 11 |  Rugby Union
Palmer ponders future in France
01 Feb 11 |  English
Ashton has the X-factor - Lindsay
16 Feb 11 |  Northampton
England 59-13 Italy
12 Feb 11 |  Rugby Union
Ireland 22-25 France
13 Feb 11 |  Rugby Union
Wales 19-26 England
04 Feb 11 |  Rugby Union
France 34-21 Scotland
05 Feb 11 |  Rugby Union


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