France v England, Six Nations 2024: Today’s kick-off time, how to watch and team news

Ollie Lawrence celebrates scoring a try against Ireland

After a dramatic 23-22 victory over Ireland, England are still in with a shot of Six Nations glory as they prepare to take on France later today.

England and Ireland have won three of their four fixtures but with Andy Farrell’s side picking up a bonus point in each of their matches, the Irish have a four-point advantage.

If the reigning champions lose to Scotland and fail to pick up a bonus point, a victory over France along with a bonus point would see Steve Borthwick’s side crowned champions.

When is France v England?

England meet France today, Saturday, March 16, and the game will kick off at 8pm (GMT). This will take place after Ireland’s clash with Scotland at 4.45pm, meaning England will know what is required of them. Wales take on Italy in the earlier kick off, at 2.15pm.

Where is France v England taking place?

The sides will meet at the Groupama Stadium in Lyon. The French have failed to win either of their home games so far, losing to Ireland in Marseille before being held to a draw by Italy in Lille.

How to watch France v England on TV

The match will be broadcast live on ITV.

Who is the referee?

Angus Gardner (Australia). Telegraph Sport has published a full guide to all the referees at this year’s tournament.

How France and England can win Six Nations

What is the England team?

George Ford continues at fly-half as England keep faith with the side that stunned Ireland.

Steve Borthwick has made only one enforced change, choosing Elliot Daly to replace the injured Immanuel Feyi-Waboso, who reported concussion symptoms incurred against Ireland.

Tommy Freeman, on his first international start, will wear the No 14 jersey while Manu Tuilagi makes his first appearance of the Six Nations after taking Daly’s place on the bench. The match will be Tuilagi’s first for England since last autumn’s World Cup bronze medal match, having missed the opening rounds because of a groin problem.

Ford has held off the challenge of Marcus Smith to retain the fly-half duties. Smith kicked the last-gasp drop goal that sank Ireland 23-22 last Saturday and made a telling contribution off the bench, bring extra zip to England’s attack after Ford had pulled the strings effectively earlier on.

A second change among the replacements sees Ethan Roots replace calf injury victim Chandler Cunningham-South.

England XV: Furbank; Freeman, Slade, Lawrence, Daly; Ford, Mitchell; Genge, George (capt), Cole, Itoje, Martin, Chessum, Underhill, Earl.

Replacements: Dan, Marler, Stuart, Roots, Dombrandt, Care, M Smith, Tuilagi.

What is the France team?

By Charles Richardson

France have named an unchanged matchday 23 for the first time in five years.

For the first time since taking the reins in 2019, head coach Fabien Galthié has resisted the temptation to tinker with the selection which dispatched Wales in Cardiff last weekend. To find the last time Les Bleus benefited from such consistency, one has to go back to the 2019 Six Nations, under Galthié‘s predecessor Jacques Brunel, to the unchanged squads which took on Scotland and Ireland respectively.

Although it is unlikely given Ireland’s hosting of Scotland in Dublin, both England and France could technically win the Six Nations this Saturday in Lyon. Realistically, however, ‘Le Crunch’ looks more likely to be a battle for second place.

And for such a battle, just as in Cardiff last weekend, Galthié has wheeled out his tanks. Emmanuel Meafou, the 145kg Toulouse second row, will win his second cap for France, scrummaging behind the similarly hefty Uini Atonio. When that duo is finished, Georges-Henri Colombe and Romain Taofifénua, who each only weigh a measly 140kg, will replace them at tighthead and lock respectively.

The young backs who thrilled at the Principality Stadium last weekend – Nolann Le Garrec, Nicolas Depoortère, Louis Bielle-Biarrey and Léo Barré – all retain their spots but after missing the victory over Wales with a chest infection, Posolo Tuilagi misses out on a chance to take on his uncle, Manu, and instead will run out for France’s under-20s side.

“We won the match with a bonus point [against Wales] and that was the objective,” said Galthié after naming his squad. “But England do not have the same profile as Wales. We need to be more precise in certain areas, notably defence. We’ll have to be compact and solid in the physical exchanges. England hit hard in the middle of the pitch and we’ll have to be switched on to that, certainly more than we were against Wales.

“We are going to encounter an explosive English team. Powerful and solid... with this switching between playing the ball in hand and kicking, this pressure that they put on the opposition.”

France XV: Barre; Penaud, Fickou, Depoortere, Bielle-Biarrey; Ramos, Le Garrec; Baille, Marchand, Atonio, Flament, Meafou, Cros, Ollivon, Alldritt (capt).

Replacements: Mauvaka, S Taofifenua, Colombe, R Taofifenua, Roumat, Boudehent, Lucu, Moefana.

What are the current standings?

How many times have France and England won the Six Nations?

England have won the Six Nations more times than anyone, having come out victorious on seven occasions, last winning in 2020.

The French are one behind, having won six times, most recently in 2022 when they claimed the Grand Slam.

What was the score last year?

England were subjected to their heaviest ever home defeat as France dominated them in a 53-10 victory at Twickenham in 2023.

What are the latest odds?

  • France to win: 1/2

  • England to win: 11/5

  • Draw: 25/1

Odds correct as of March 16

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