Jones' England back-row selection 'funny & amazing'

From BBC - March 8, 2018

England head coach Eddie Jones' decision to pick the same back row that faced Scotland when they meet France has been described as "funny and amazing" by former flanker Serge Betsen.

England conceded nine turnovers at the breakdown as they lost 25-13 to Scotland in their previous Six Nations outing.

Jones has kept faith with Courtney Lawes, Chris Robshaw and Nathan Hughes for the trip to the Stade de France in Paris on Saturday.

"It's really funny Jones has challenged the back row to beat France with that style of play," Betsen, who won 63 caps for France between 1997 and 2007, told BBC Sport.

"France will target the breakdown and are going to follow what Scotland managed to do against England.

"In the back row England have got some second rows who maybe have less speed and who are really tall. It's a handicap for them in that aspect of the game.

"The French forwards are really effective in that area and especially a player like [prop] Jefferson Poirot.

"Wenceslas Lauret and Yacouba Camara are experts in the back row and Marco Tauleigne will bring a lot of dynamism in open play."

Robshaw was the only one of the three to claim a turnover against Scotland, with fellow flanker Lawes conceding three.

Over the first three rounds of the 2018 tournament, England have the worst success rate of all the Six Nations sides at the ruck.

"At the moment, with the players we have available, this is the best back row we have," Jones told BBC Radio 5 live.

"Technically we got the breakdown wrong against Scotland and they were much better than us in that area, but we will get it right for France.

"We did not adjust to the referee's interpretations, which is disappointing and something we can learn from."

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