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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 13 December 2018

Eddie Jones wants stand-in England captain Owen Farrell to be 'aggressive' against France

Farrell takes the armband for penultimate Six Nations game due to injury to Dylan Hartley.

England's centre Owen Farrell will captain the side against France on Saturday. Olly Greenwood / AFP
England's centre Owen Farrell will captain the side against France on Saturday. Olly Greenwood / AFP

England coach Eddie Jones wants stand-in skipper Owen Farrell to be in the faces of French players in Paris on Saturday and says the centre was right to get involved in a tunnel fracas against Scotland two weeks ago.

Farrell, named as skipper this week after hooker Dylan Hartley was ruled out with a calf injury, was at the centre of a pre-match scuffle with Scotland's Ryan Wilson in Edinburgh where England suffered a shock defeat.

They will look to get their Six Nations title bid back on track against an inconsistent France outfit and Jones wants more of the same from Farrell.

"He did what was right for the team (in the tunnel). I expect our players to do what is right for the team," Jones said as he looked ahead to the clash.

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"We want him to be in their face. That is one of the best attributes of his play. He is an aggressive, in-your-face type player. We want him to be like that."

England were overpowered by Scotland, especially in the breakdowns, and Jones has called for more aggression from his side, with Farrell taking the lead.

"Against France we want to be brutal and aggressive on the gainline and to play with a great tactical discipline," he said. "He's a passionate, aggressive player and he'll lead from the front. He's a northerner and he gets to the point.

"What he says, they will understand. He expects high standards. As long as we are brutal and ruthless at the gainline I think we will have too much for them."

Mako Vunipola will be Farrell's vice-captain and pack leader in Paris, in what Jones says is a "must-win" game.

"We've decided to go with what we think is the strongest leadership structure," he said.