England are set to DROP captain Owen Farrell and replace him with Marcus Smith for their Six Nations showdown with France… as coach Steve Borthwick makes shock call for the must-win match at Twickenham

  • England are set to host France in a must-win Six Nations match at Twickenham
  • Steve Borthwick is set to make the shock decision to drop captain Owen Farrell
  • Marcus Smith will replace Farrell, and Ellis Genge is expected to captain the side 

England captain Owen Farrell will be dropped for the first time in eight years tomorrow as Marcus Smith takes over as No 10 against France.

In a shock twist, Steve Borthwick is primed to select Smith as fly-half for the Twickenham showdown, with Farrell reduced to a role on the bench.

Prop Ellis Genge is set to take over as skipper, with fellow vice-captain Courtney Lawes ruled out with a shoulder injury.

Smith is likely to be the only change to the starting XV that beat Wales in Cardiff, where he was limited to just 14 seconds off the bench.

The 24-year-old prodigy was released to Harlequins last week but forced his way back into the reckoning with a man-of-the-match display against Exeter. Experienced No 10 George Ford was also in contention for selection but has been released to play for Sale, as Borthwick prepares to make his boldest selection call yet.

Owen Farrell is set to be dropped for England’s Six Nations match with France on Saturday

Marcus Smith will get the nod over Farrell after impressing for Harlequins last weekend

Steve Borthwick has made the huge call despite naming Farrell as his captain ahead of the Six Nations

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