England head coach Eddie Jones has confirmed he is pondering breaking up his tried and tested midfield partnership of George Ford and Owen Farrell for his side’s pivotal Six Nations clash against France on Saturday.
Jones admitted that he had woken at 4am, mulling over England’s 25-13 defeat – only his second in 26 Tests since taking the England reins – to Scotland during the previous round of fixtures.
With rain forecast for Paris at the weekend, the Australian is bracing himself for a “slogathon” against Les Bleus, and insists he will not shy away from freshening his team selection in a bid to reignite England’s championship.
“I’m not wedded to anything,” said Jones. “No one is indispensable. There’s an old story about this old coach who had a bucket of water in his office and he would say ‘come here son, put your hand in the bucket’.
“You put your hand in and take it out and he says ‘what's happened?’. Your hand creates a hole and as soon as your hand comes out, the hole is filled in. No one is indispensable.
“Same as me, I am not indispensable. The players understand that. They have got to play and perform so who is at No10 and No12 will be done on who we feel is the best for that game.”
Two players in contention for a place in Jones’s matchday 23 are back-row forward Sam Simmonds and utility back Elliot Daly, who are back in action following a shoulder injury and ankle and calf problems respectively.
“There is very heavy rain forecast and we all know the Stade de France is a heavy pitch anyway,” added Jones. “We could pick a team to play a ‘slogathon’.
“They will be very aggressive. Jacques Brunel picks very big teams. We know what is going to come at us, we have just got to be good enough to stop it.”