Guilhem Guirado and Dylan Hartley
The title might be decided but France and England have much to play for on the final weekend of the campaign. Getty Images

France and England meet in the final game of the championship in Paris with Eddie Jones' side pursuing a first grand slam since 2003. Scotland's victory over Les Blues handed the title to the Red Rose but they will look to put the icing on the cake with a fifth straight win.

Where to watch

France vs England kicks off at 8.00pm GMT on Saturday 19 March. Live coverage is available on BBC One from 7:20pm and on BBC Radio 5 live.


England attempt to cap their revival since being dumped out of their home Rugby World Cup by claiming a first grand slam for 13 years when they face France in Paris. Eddie Jones' side were crowned Six Nations champions last weekend but can put the icing on the cake at the Stade de France.

France's defeat to Scotland, their second on the spin having won their opening two games under Guy Noves, ended their championship hopes at Murrayfield. However, Les Blues still have a role to play and could sour England's coronation in the French capital.

The build-up to the final weekend of the championship has been dominated by the fall-out from England's thrilling win over Wales. Joe Marler has escaped punishment for striking an opponent and for calling Wales prop Samson Lee a "gypsy-boy". World Rugby have asked for the observations of the Six Nations organisers who decided against sanctioning the England forward.

Joe Marler
Marler has come under the microscope this week and will start the game in Paris on the bench. Getty Images

Wales have questioned the decision despite both Lee and coach Warren Gatland describing the exchange as "banter", a response which Eddie Jones says shows no-one wants England to win the grand slam. The off-the-field distractions have completely detracted from the importance of the fixture, such has been the furore and inadequacy of the response.

But for Jones and England, though the context is far from ideal, it has allowed their preparations to be unaffected by the pressure of the occasion. Since winning the World Cup in 2003, England have butchered two grand slam opportunities in Dublin and Cardiff and will be eager to ensure Paris does not become the latest scene of final weekend heartache.

France have provided rare moments of inspiration during the last two months, with their albeit uncharacteristically dogged win over Ireland the highlight of their campaign. The recall of Bernard Le Roux for his first appearance since the World Cup beefs up the back row and will attempt to combat England's power which has been the defining feature of their success.


France: 15. Scott Spedding; 14. Wesley Fofana, 13. Gaël Fickou, 12. Maxime Mermoz, 11. Virimi Vakatawa; 10. François Trinh-Duc, 9. Maxime Machenaud; 1. Jefferson Poirot, 2. Guilhem Guirado, 3. Rabah Slimani, 4. Alexandre Flanquart, 5. Yoann Maestri, 6. Damien Chouly, 7. Bernard Le Roux, 8. Loann Goujon.

Replacements: 16. Camille Chat, 17. Uini Atonio, Xavier Chiocci (Toulon), Paul Jedresiak (Clermont), Wenceslas Lauret (Racing 92), Sébastien Bézy (Toulouse), Jules Plisson (Stade Français), Maxime Médard (Toulouse).

England:15. Mike Brown, 14. Anthony Watson, 13. Jonathan Joseph, 12. Owen Farrell, 11. Jack Nowell, 10. George Ford, 9. Danny Care; 1. Mako Vunipola, 2. Dylan Hartley, 3. Dan Cole, 4. Maro Itoje, 5. George Kruis, 6. Chris Robshaw, 7. James Haskell, 8. Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: 16. Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17. Joe Marler, 18. Kieran Brookes, 19. Joe Launchbury, 20. Jack Clifford, 21. Ben Youngs, 22. Manu Tuilagi, 23. Elliot Daly.

Bernard Le Roux
Le Roux returns to the French pack in an attempt to combat England's power. Getty Images

What the coaches say

Guy Noves: "I believe in my team. To say we are not aware that England are a bit ahead at the moment would be naive but I am confident that my players can meet this challenge. If they want to try to tire us with tempo, they will not succeed.

"From what I've seen of the first four matches, the English play a certain way and I'm not sure whether it is linked to tempo, unless you consider that banging on the advantage line with power is called tempo."

Eddie Jones: "I think we're the better side and we have to believe we're better. Why have we won the title with a game to spare? It's not because we're inferior to the other teams. We have to go to France and put all that on the paddock. If we can't handle that, we're not as good as we think we are.

"I don't think it's just an Australian attitude. Did Jonny Wilkinson spend seven hours a day practising because he didn't want to be the best in the world? He might not have said that, but his actions said it. Speaking as someone who coached against him, everything he did was about being the best. And the England team who beat the Wallabies in Melbourne in 2003 knew, 100 per cent, that they were good enough to win the World Cup later that year."