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Farrell to lead England vs France in Hartley’s absence
March 09, 2018
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Bagshot: Owen Farrell will captain England for the first time after being named to lead the side against France in Saturday’s Six Nations clash in Paris.

Regular skipper Dylan Hartley has been ruled out with a calf injury sustained during training earlier this week and the Northampton hooker’s place in the front row will be taken by long-serving deputy Jamie George.

Hartley has been a constant presence since Eddie Jones took over as coach, starting all but one of his 26 Tests in charge of the side.

Prop Mako Vunipola, who plays alongside inside centre Farrell at European club champions Saracens, will be England’s vice-captain in Paris. “Owen will be very proud to be captain but at the same time he’s disappointed for Dylan to miss out through injury. He knows the position of captain carries a lot of responsibility,” Jones said in a Rugby Football Union statement announcing his side on Thursday.

“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,” Jones added. “He will step up and take that on officially against France.”

Agence France-Presse

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