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

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

The wing, who's last Six Nations start came against Wales in Cardiff in a disappointing 30-3 defeat, had been out of the global scene for a number of years, before an impressive loan spell in France caught the eye of head coach Eddie Jones.

As ever, Jones played down the significance of his switch with Nowell saying only that he had a "gut feeling" that Ashton, who will be making his first Six Nations start for six years, would be right for the beginning of the match and Nowell was better suited for the latter stages.

"We have gone for Chris Ashton on the wing; we think he might sneak us a try early in the game. 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 only other change by England after beating Ireland 32-20 in Dublin last weekend was Courtney Lawes replacing lock Maro Itoje, who damaged right knee ligaments.

"We have got great depth in the squad so Joe Launchbury and Courtney Lawes will fill his shoes very well".

Props Dan Cole and Ben Moon as well as second row Joe Launchbury are named among the replacements along with Nowell.

Neither flanker Brad Shields nor winger Joe Cokanasiga have made the matchday 23 despite recovering from respective side and knee injuries.

England have won nine of the last 12 Six Nations meetings between the sides and start as heavy favourites against a France team that blew a 16-0 lead at home to Wales in round one.

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The 31-year-old Sale flyer knows France well, having returned to England from Top 14 club Toulon before the start of this season. "Players have been very good and certainly by Sunday we'll be at our best", Jones said.

"We can't wait to play in front of our supporters". They are full of talent and have a lot of unpredictability.

They have made six changes, including the return of giant centre Mathieu Bastareaud.

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.

Just a year ago, Ashton was unavailable for England selection and only featured in the Six Nations by offering his expertise as a pundit for France's game against Italy.

When Ashton walks out at Twickenham on Sunday, he will not be thinking of the past, nor of his French jaunt, but focused only on what Jones and captain Farrell want from him: to do what comes naturally and get across that try line early on. Northampton's Courtney Lawes takes his place alongside George Kruis.

Replacements: 16. Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17.