Rugby Union: Saracens fly half Owen Farrell to captain England for first time against France in Six Nations
PUBLISHED: 09:28 08 March 2018 | UPDATED: 11:23 08 March 2018
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Farrell one of four Saracens to start crucial game in Paris on Saturday
Saracens back Owen Farrell will captain England for the first time in their Six Nations clash with France in Paris on Saturday.
The 26-year-old, who is the regular vice-captain, takes over from the injured Dylan Hartley.
With hooker Hartley missing out, Saracens forward Jamie George will make his first start for England in the competition.
Club colleagues Mako Vunipola, who will be vice-captain for the game, and Maro Itoje will also start, with Richard Wigglesworth among the replacements.
England XV to face France: Watson; May, Te’o, Farrell, Daly; Ford, Care; Vunipola, George, Cole; Launchbury, Itoje; Lawes, Robshaw, Hughes.
Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, Marler, Sinckler, Haskell, Simmonds, Wigglesworth, Joseph, Brown.
• Elsewhere, Saracens backs Liam Williams and Sean Maitland will start for Wales and Scotland respectively in their Six Nations matches this weekend.
Maitland is on the wing for Scotland against Ireland in Dublin on Saturday, while Williams will start at fullback for Wales against Italy in Cardiff the following day.
Meanwhile, flanker Ben Earl, who scored a try for Saracens in the Aviva Premiership defeat at Exeter Chiefs last weekend, will captain England under-20s against France in Beziers on Friday.