England v France: Chris Ashton replaces Jack Nowell for Six Nations game

Chris Ashton
Ashton was a 74th-minute replacement in England's win over Ireland last weekend
Six Nations: England v France
Venue: Twickenham Date: Sunday, 10 February Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and online; text updates and highlights on the BBC Sport website and app; TV highlights on BBC Two at 18:00 GMT.

Chris Ashton will make his first Six Nations start since 2013 when England play France at Twickenham on Sunday.

The Sale wing, 31, replaces Exeter's Jack Nowell, who drops to the bench.

Lock Courtney Lawes is promoted from the bench to replace the injured Maro Itoje in the second change from the starting XV that crushed Ireland in Dublin.

"After the Ireland game we have had to refocus and reset," coach Eddie Jones said. "By Sunday we'll be at our best."

Props Dan Cole and Ben Moon as well as second row Joe Launchbury are named among the replacements along with Nowell.

Ashton, who spent years in the international wilderness following a series of suspensions and a move to France, returned to the England scene in November when he came off the bench against South Africa then scored a try against New Zealand.

"We have gone for Chris Ashton on the wing; we think he might sneak us a try early in the game," Jones added.

"Jack Nowell was brilliant against Ireland and he'll play a significant role for us off the bench."

Ashton said he "never thought" he would play for England again while working as an analyst on television during last year's Six Nations.

"When you're younger and you're in the team, you never think it's going to be your last game," he said.

"You think you're going to have good, long years at it, but that wasn't the case for me.

"I definitely understand what it's like to not be involved and not have the shirt, so it's a big privilege for me to be back in.

"This is what I came back to England for. I got a taste of it in the autumn so I'm past that point of it being a relatively new environment."

Ashton's last Six Nations game was a 30-3 defeat by Wales in Cardiff in 2013 that saw the hosts take the title and end England's Grand Slam hopes.

"It was a long time ago - and one to forget as well," said Ashton.

"I've had a good few years watching the Six Nations, it's such a great tournament, and England have done really well over the last three years, taking out last season.

"I've had to sit and watch that so I'm just happy to be part of it again."

France have not won at Twickenham in 14 years, with their only victory in the Six Nations era coming in 2005.

England have won nine of the last 12 Six Nations meetings between the sides and start as heavy favourites against a France team that blew a 16-0 lead at home to Wales in round one.

"The French are always an interesting side to play against," Jones said.

"They are full of talent, they have a lot of unpredictability, so it's hard to prepare tactically against them so we have had a real focus on ourselves."

England started their campaign in sensational style last weekend, scoring four tries as they overwhelmed Grand Slam holders Ireland 32-20 at the Aviva Stadium.

"We can't wait to play in front of our supporters, I'm sure they will be buoyant by the first-round results and we promise we will play a better game on Sunday," Jones said.

England team to play France:

Daly; Ashton, Slade, Tuilagi, May; Farrell, Youngs; M Vunipola, George, Sinckler, Lawes, Kruis, Wilson, Curry, B Vunipola

Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, Cole, Moon, Launchbury, Hughes, Robson, Ford, Nowell

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Six Nations: England beat Grand Slam champions Ireland 32-20

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