Six Nations 2015: England to delay team talk for Six Nations decider

England celebrate Jack Nowell's try against Scotland
England celebrate Jack Nowell's try against Scotland
RBS Six Nations: England v France
Venue: Twickenham, London Date: Saturday, 21 March. Kick-off: 17:00 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC Radio 5 live, online, mobile, the BBC Sport app and Connected TV.

England will hold their team talk just half-an-hour before the 17:00 GMT kick-off of the Six Nations decider against France at Twickenham on Saturday.

Coach Stuart Lancaster will inform the players of the required winning margin after the other two matches finish.

Wales play Italy in Rome (12:30 GMT), before Ireland face Scotland at Murrayfield (14:30 GMT).

"It's an unusual situation, but we'll prepare for all eventualities," lock Geoff Parling told BBC Sport.

England, who last won the Six Nations in 2011 and have finished runners-up for the last three seasons, go into the final round of matches top of the table but level on points with Ireland and Wales.

They hold a points difference of +37 to Ireland's +33 and Wales's +12.

England players will be told to focus on their preparations for the match rather than be distracted by score updates from the other matches.

British and Irish Lion Parling is the only change to the side which beat Scotland 25-13 in their last outing, coming in for Dave Attwood.

England lock Geoff Parling
Geoff Parling makes a start against France having impressed from the bench against Scotland

Parling added: "It is better that he (Lancaster) does it and says 'this is the craic' rather than Chinese whispers from the lads."

Lancaster will wait until half-an-hour before the 17:00 GMT kick-off before issuing instructions to the players.

He said: "We firstly have to understand what will be the challenge. The Ireland match in Scotland will finish at about 4.25pm and we kick off at five.

"We will have to make sure the players understand the objectives. It might be just to win the game, or it could be to win it by 10 or 20 points.

"It is certainly a unique situation where the end of the Championship is decided with staggered times, with the teams playing last knowing there is a certain points differential to score."

On Parling's return to England's starting line-up

Stuart Lancaster: "Geoff is an experienced British Lion who we feel has contributed a lot over the years and is back up to that form. His inclusion lifts the team through his leadership and his running of the line-out which has not gone as well as we hoped in the last couple of matches."

Geoff Parling: "It was good to get a run-out last weekend coming off the bench against Scotland, but I'm chuffed to be back in from the start. Most players will never be happy being on the bench. You want to start, lay down a marker and play the whole game."

On chasing the Six Nations title

Geoff Parling: "We want to win the Championship, we want something tangible for our efforts. Three times we've been second, we don't want to do that again, we want to go one better.

"We deserve it for the talent and effort from everyone in the camp, but I just think it's the high pressure games when we show character and I think we will do it this weekend.

England flanker James Haskell: "I was very spoilt early in my career playing in Heineken Cups and Premierships, then I had a dry spell, but you get a taste for it and it's been taken away. Essentially a 'final' for the Six Nations couldn't be better.

England winger Jack Nowell: "The most important thing is the win. If we don't get that, it will count for nothing. There is a lot of excitement. It is a game we all want to be involved in and for us it's winner takes all."

Six Nations table

On the French threat to England's title party

James Haskell spent two years with Stade Francais between 2009 and 2011. He said: "French players to a man are probably individually better rugby players with fantastic skills set. On their day they can beat anyone in the world.

"When you prepare for France, you prepare for the best team and performance, and you have to be on the money."

Stuart Lancaster: "There is no doubt the French will have their moments. They are very strong defensively, having only conceded two tries in the Six Nations. If we need to win by 10 or 15 points then that will be a big challenge.

"They have too many good players to write them off, they are at their best in the turnover and counter-attack. I remember last year we were on the attack, then they ran down the other end and scored a try to win the game.


England: M Brown (Harlequins); A Watson (Bath), J Joseph (Bath), L Burrell (Northampton), J Nowell (Exeter); G Ford (Bath), B Youngs (Leicester); J Marler (Harlequins), D Hartley (Northampton), D Cole (Leicester), G Parling (Leicester), C Lawes (Northampton), J Haskell (Wasps), C Robshaw (Harlequins, capt), B Vunipola (Saracens).

Replacements: T Youngs (Leicester), M Vunipola (Saracens), K Brookes (Newcastle), N Easter (Harlequins), T Wood (Northampton), R Wigglesworth (Saracens), D Cipriani (Sale), B Twelvetrees (Gloucester).

France: S Spedding, Y Huget, G Fickou, M Mermoz, N Nakaitaci, J Plisson, S Tillous-Borde; V Debaty, G Guirado, N Mas, A Flanquart, Y Maestri, T Dusautoir (capt), B Le Roux, L Goujon.

Replacements: B Kayser, R Slimani, U Atonio, R Taofifenua, D Chouly, R Kockott, R Tales, M Bastareaud.