Six Nations: Toby Flood released by England ahead of France clash

Toby Flood
Toby Flood

Six Nations - France v England

Stade de France
Sunday 11 March
1500 GMT
Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website; live on BBC Radio 5 live; live on BBC One

England fly-half Toby Flood will miss Sunday's Six Nations match against France in Paris after being released to play for Leicester.

Charlie Hodgson, who sat out the Wales defeat with a finger injury, looks set to replace Flood when Stuart Lancaster names his 22-man squad on Friday.

Owen Farrell should keep the number 10 shirt after impressing against Wales.

Lee Mears, Thomas Waldrom, Paul Doran-Jones and Calum Clark have also been released for domestic duty.

They, along with Flood, will play for their clubs in the Anglo-Welsh Cup semi-finals.

Bath host Premiership rivals Leicester at the Recreation Ground on Friday (1930 GMT), while Northampton entertain Scarlets on Sunday (1300 GMT).

"All the players did well at the weekend and got a lot of game time, which was what everyone wanted," said interim coach Lancaster.

"We are looking forward to seeing them play again in what should be two great semi-finals."

Lancaster has options at fly-half, with 20-year-old Farrell producing an assured display in the 19-12 defeat by Wales at Twickenham and Hodgson's timely return.

Hodgson, 31, who scored England's only try in each of the wins over Scotland and Italy, proved his return to fitness with a man-of-the-match display for Saracens against Northampton on Sunday.

His recovery means Flood misses out after making his international return from a knee injury as a replacement in the defeat by Wales on 25 February.

Lancaster will have to make one further change with lock Courtney Lawes recently ruled out of the remaining Six Nations games with a shin problem.

Tom Palmer looks to be the likely choice to replace Lawes on the bench after being dropped for the Wales game.

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