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Owen Farrell to captain England against France as Dylan Hartley misses out with injury

The Independent logo The Independent 08/03/2018 Jack Austin
Rugby Union - England Training  - Pennyhill Park, Bagshot, Britain - February 22, 2018   England's Owen Farrell during training   Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers © Reuters Rugby Union - England Training - Pennyhill Park, Bagshot, Britain - February 22, 2018 England's Owen Farrell during training Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

Owen Farrell will captain England in their crucial Six Nations game against France in Paris on Saturday after regular skipper Dylan Hartley was ruled out.

Hartley was confirmed as a doubt earlier in the week after picking up a leg injury in training and was being monitored daily but was unable to recover in time for the team announcement on Thursday,

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The 31-year-old has been a near ever-present under Eddie Jones, starting 25 of his 26 Tests in charge but British and Irish Lions hooker Jamie George will take his place in the front row at the Stade de France.

As a result, vice-captain Farrell leads out the Red Rose with prop Mako Vunipola acting as his deputy.

“Owen will be very proud to be captain but at the same time he's disappointed for Dylan to miss out through injury. He knows the position of captain carries a lot of responsibility,” Jones said.

“We need to make sure we have one strong voice among the forward leaders and Mako has been doing some great work behind the scenes. He will step up and take that on officially against France.”

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