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Monday 18 December 2017

Parling in for Attwood as England chase points

Leicester lock Geoff Parling (pictured) replaces Bath counterpart Dave Attwood as the only change to an England lineup named to face France in their final Six Nations clash.

Having started every match in the tournament so far, there is no room for Attwood on the bench either, with Harlequins' Nick Easter named a replacement.

Easter's inclusion looks a reflection of the fact the Six Nations crown is likely to go down to points difference and England will be chasing a score.

"Geoff did well off the bench against Scotland and now that he has got some games under his belt, we feel it is the right time to start him and use his experience and quality in the starting line-up," England head coach Stuart Lancaster said.

"The same goes for Nick Easter, who has really impressed in camp and with his appearances off the bench in the second row.

"He is a quality ball carrier and great defender... something we feel we will need in the latter stages of the game."

England, Ireland and Wales are all tied on six points, with France in fourth on four. The English lead the table due to a superior points scored difference of 37, compared to Ireland's 33 and Wales' 12.

Were Ireland and Wales both to lose their games, France could win the Six Nations title by beating England.

England: M Brown; A Watson, J Joseph, L Burrell, J Nowell; G Ford, B Youngs; J Marler, D Hartley, D Cole, G Parling , C Lawes, J Haskell, C Robshaw, B Vunipola.

FRANCE: S Spedding; Y Huget, G Fickou, M Mermoz, N Nakaitaci; J Plisson, S Tillous-Borde; V Debaty, G Guirado, N Mas, A Flanquart, Y Maestri, T Dusautoir, B Leroux, L Goujon.

england v france, live rte2/bbc1, tomorrow (5.0)

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