LONDON: England head coach Stuart Lancaster named on Tuesday an unchanged 23-man squad for the Six Nations clash against France at Twickenham on Saturday.
Lancaster will select his starting side and eight replacements from the same matchday 23 chosen for the 12-6 victory over Ireland in Dublin on Feb.10 - a result that left England top of the table and the only side capable of winning a Grand Slam Six Nations.
Wasps No 8 Billy Vunipola had been pressing hard to force his way into the matchday line-up but his prospects suffered a setback when he injured his ankle in training on Tuesday.
As a result, Lancaster has opted for the same 23 he fielded at Lansdowne Road although that would not prevent him making changes to a starting line-up due to be announced on Thursday, when France are also set to name their side.
“We had to make some close calls but the team did very well in Ireland so we’ve gone with the same squad against France,” Lancaster said on Tuesday.
“We are looking forward to getting back to Twickenham against what I am sure will be a highly motivated French team.”
Lancaster must decide whether to stick with the centre pairing of Billy Twelvetrees and Brad Barritt or find a place for Manu Tuilagi, currently being used as an ‘impact’ substitute, in the starting side.