Published: Sun, February 10, 2019
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Six Nations: Jones explains England's reason for dropping Jack Nowell

Six Nations: Jones explains England's reason for dropping Jack Nowell

Ashton came off the bench to replace Nowell six minute before the end of England's impressive 33-20 first-round win away to reigning Six Nations champions Ireland last weekend.

"We've worked extremely hard, we're in a good physical state and the way we're thinking about the game is correct so we're ready to go", Jones said. "This week, I'd say my role is becoming less and less significant - and that's the way it should be, because the players are doing more and more".

The other change to that winning side in Dublin is an enforced one, as Courtney Lawes has been picked to partner George Kruis in the second row, in light of the injury to Maro Itoje. Wasps lock Joe Lunchbury takes the place of Lawes on the England bench.

"It is unfortunate Maro is injured but he has been rehabbing well so we are hopeful he will be back earlier than maybe first predicted", said Jones.

Subs: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Joe Launchbury, 20 Nathan Hughes, 21 Dan Robson, 22 George Ford, 23 Jack Nowell. Winger Joe Cokanasiga and flanker Brad Shields were the men trimmed from Jones's provisional squad. It will be Ashton's first Six Nations start since 2013.

Sale star Chris Ashton has revealed he feels "privileged" to be included in England's Six Nations starting line-up against France, Sky Sports report.

Jones views France as unpredictable opponents as illustrated by their defeat to Wales in which a 16-0 half-time lead was surrendered.

He added: 'The French are always an interesting side to play against.

England have won nine of the last 12 Six Nations games against France, who have won only once at Twickenham in the Six Nations era, back in 2005. "I'm sure they will be buoyant by the first round results and we promise we will play a better game on Sunday". Chris Ashton, 13. Henry Slade, 12. "We know the impact Mathieu can have and faced with the English strength in midfield, notably Manu Tuilagi, he could have a good impact".

England produced their best performance of the Jones era at the Aviva Stadium, but captain Owen Farrell hopes it is merely a stepping stone to greater achievements.

It is a fearless move selecting Bamba at prop for such a big game ahead of Atonio, who has 32 test caps, especially considering Bamba's only two global appearances were from the bench and he will be up against Mako Vunipola. Ben Moon, 18. Dan Cole, 19.

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