England scrape home against France

Eddie Jones took the blame for England's unimpressive 19-16 Six Nations victory over France that maintained his unbeaten record as head coach, and admitted that he failed to prepare the team properly for the encounter against a very physical opponent.

The English defence was narrow, their set-pieces were stressed, and they missed 24 tackles, nearly twice as many as France at Twickenham.

Itoje moves from lock to make his first start in the back row and, while Jones insists Robshaw, a bulwark of Red Rose success in 2016, is a hard act to follow, he is backing the young Saracen to succeed.

Head coach Jones said: "We can't get any uglier than that". "For some reason we sat back in the first half, we weren't our usual urgent selves".

'It looked like we hadn't practiced line-outs but these things happen and we'll get through it'.

"Someone like him can ignite that and we are fully aware of what he can bring to the game and how we have to try to stop him". I will make sure the team plays much better against Wales.

Minutes later, Slimani was penalised for collapsing a scrum, and England set up an attacking lineout.

Jack Nowell was expected to fill the position but missed Tuesday's training sessions due to personal reasons.

Farrell followed Lopez's lead by missing a kickable penalty early in the second half, but gave them the lead for the first time on 54 minutes when Rémi Lamerat had not released with England threatening.

Jamie George came on for Dylan Hartley and further proved why there is a serious case for his inclusion as a starter, while James Haskell and Danny Care both gave England a much needed punch with Ben Te'o scoring the all important try.

"France have been on the improve steadily under Guy Noves".

Noa Nakaitaci and Virimi Vakatawa played for France. But contain them they did.

"I thought we were bad, but I thought we were always going to win the game and that is what I like about these boys". "That's what I like about the boys; even when things aren't going right they've got a good attitude".

A scrappy and try-less first half which saw England wing Jonny May sin-binned for a unsafe tackle ended all square at 9-9.

But England showed their ambition by running the ball out of their 22 soon after, earning a penalty which allowed them to set up camp back in the French 22.

Farrell pen did put England briefly ahead with his fourth penalty in the 55th minute but, against the run of play, France responded.

However, France upped the tempo and after a sustained period of pressure involving multiple offloads, prop Rabah Slimani dived over beside the posts.

Ireland are a team who I rate highly, and their final game against England will be one to savour.

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