Eddie Jones says decision to drop Mike Brown for Six Nations clash was a 'tough call'

8 March 2018, 13:09

England coach Eddie Jones admits his decision to drop Mike Brown for Saturday's Six Nations clash with France in Paris is a "tough call" for the Harlequins full-back.

Brown makes way for returning winger Elliot Daly, while Anthony Watson will switch to full-back when England look to keep their Six Nations title hopes alive at the Stade de France,

Brown produced a man-of-the-match performance against Wales earlier in the tournament and Jones admits his decision to the drop 32-year-old was anything but straight forward.

"It is a tough call on Browny, he's been a really good solid player for us but we've decided to go for a back three with a bit more pace this week.," said Jones.

"I feel the game will lead itself to that and it will be advantageous for us if Browny comes and does his job from the bench."

Jones insists Brown responded well to his demotion and praised the full-back for his professional attitude in training.

When asked how Brown took the news, Jones said: "Very well. [I'm] really impressed by it. Obviously players sense selection changes earlier in the week and he has really given his best, he's trained hard, helped Anthony. It's a really good sign as a team."

Jones believes his back three of Daly, Watson and Jonny May can cause France problems with their speed.

"The three of them are genuinely quick. They have enormous pace but they have to work together," said Jones.

"France score a lot of their points through attacking kicks, so the ability to counter those attacking kicks and then take the opportunities to attack when we get loose ball from them, will be vital."

Owen Farrell will captain England in Paris with Dylan Hartley ruled out of the game with a calf injury.

Jones admits his regular skipper faces a race against time to be fit for a potential title decider against Ireland at Twickenham on St Patrick's Day.

"He is not fit enough to be waterboy, let's put it that way," said Jones. "Let's see how he goes next week. He's started running today so let's see whether he is going to be fit."

England team to play France: 15 Anthony Watson, 14 Jonny May, 13 Ben Te'o, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 Elliot Daly, 10 George Ford, 9 Danny Care; 1 Mako Vunipola, 2 Jamie George, 3 Dan Cole, 4 Joe Launchbury, 5 Maro Itoje, 6 Courtney Lawes, 7 Chris Robshaw, 8 Nathan Hughes

Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 James Haskell, 20 Sam Simmonds, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Jonathan Joseph, 23 Mike Brown.