England will attempt to rescue their Six Nations title quest with a revamped team after Eddie Jones made five changes to the starting line-up for Saturday’s Calcutta Cup clash with Scotland.
Eddie Jones has warned France their youth policy could backfire in Paris on Sunday when England plan to launch their Six Nations with a display of “brutal physicality”.
New Les Bleus coach Fabien Galthie named 19 uncapped players in an initial 42-man squad which has an average age of 24. Matthieu Jalibert is the eldest of the three fly-halves at only 21.
The 2023 World Cup on French soil has shaped Galthie’s selection and Jones has promised a ferocious Six Nations baptism awaits whatever side is picked.
“It’s a young French team that’s won the Under-20s and is building towards the World Cup in 2023. There are a couple of ways you can go in that regard,” Australian Jones said.
“When I took over England in 2016 I kept experienced players and brought young players in.
“Test match rugby requires experience and France have decided not to take experience in, they’ve gone with youth. And they might be wrong, they might be right.
“We don’t know but it’s going to test those young players because they will have never have played against a brutal physicality and intensity that we are going to play with on Sunday.”
Meanwhile, the French Rugby Federation said on Monday that Racing 92 hooker Camille Chat, who has 26 caps, was ruled out of the opening game against England because of a calf injury.
He has been replaced by uncapped Racing 92 teammate Teddy Baubigny. Chat’s injury follows those of Dylan Cretin and Kylan Hamdaoui.
In the wake of captain Guilhem Guirado’s retirement, Chat was expected to start at the Stade de France on Sunday.