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Six Nations: Owen Farrell to captain England while Dylan Hartley is ruled out

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Owen Farrell will captain England for the first time in Saturday’s Six Nations match against France, with regular skipper Dylan Hartley ruled out through injury.

Jamie George replaces Hartley at hooker, while full-back Mike Brown has been dropped for the first time under head coach Eddie Jones.

Anthony Watson switches to full-back with Elliot Daly returning on the wing.

Worcester’s Ben Te’o replaces Jonathan Joseph at outside centre.

England go into the match after a comprehensive defeat in Scotland in their last game, and Jones said: “We want a response from the players this week.

“Mike Brown has been excellent for us but he was a little bit off against Scotland and we’ve decided to start Anthony Watson.

“We want to attack a little bit more so Anthony starts at full-back with Elliot Daly on the left and Jonny May right. It’s a great back three for us.”

Jones added it was “always the plan” to bring in the near 17-stone Te’o for the lighter Joseph at outside centre, where he will line up against the enormous Mathieu Bastareaud.

“We felt we’d need someone a bit bigger and stronger on a slower track at the Stade de France and this is why Ben Te’o starts,” said the England boss.

Prop Mako Vunipola has been named vice-captain, with Farrell leading the side.

“Owen will be very proud to be captain but at the same time he is disappointed for Dylan to miss out through injury and he knows the position of captain carries a lot of responsibility,” said Jones.

“We need to make sure we have one strong voice among the forward leaders and Mako has been doing some great work behind the scenes.”

There are a host of changes among the replacements, with Luke Cowan-Dickie on the bench as back-up to George, while fellow forwards James Haskell, Sam Simmonds and Kyle Sinckler also return to the matchday 23.

France have made one change, with Francois Trinh-Duc coming in for the benched Lionel Beauxis at fly-half.

Six Nations table

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