England are in pursuit of a sixth consecutive title

England head coach John Mitchell has made one change to the team’s starting XV to take on France in the Women’s Six Nations Grand Slam decider this weekend.

The Red Roses travel to France where whoever wins the match will take the title. If the match is drawn, England will win.

Read more: Will England win the Grand Slam?

Morwenna Talling replaced Rosie Galligan after the latter injured her thumb in the warm-up last time out and her performance against Ireland has impressed, so she retains her starting spot against France. Talling was selected over Abbie Ward, who starts from the bench.

Also in the forwards, hooker Amy Cokayne returns from her suspension to replace the injured Lark Atkin-Davies.

The backs remain unchanged for the fourth straight game.

England head coach John Mitchell was asked if he thinks the team outlined is his locked-in side now. He took over as head coach at the start of the Women’s Six Nations.

“I wouldn’t say it is a John Mitchell squad, I would say it is the best team for this Test match,” he said. “Naturally you mention the two girls that are out [Atkin-Davies and Galligan], we are very fortunate to be able to remain strong. My first priority is to identify with the coaches, what is the best team? We feel this is the best one for this week.”

On choosing Talling over Ward in the second row, he added: “Morwenna was outstanding in Auckland [for WXV1 last autumn]. She jumped to the call very, very late on the weekend and performed outstandingly. She is also physically in great shape and producing outputs that are up to the standards that we want.”

Team news for Grand Slam match

France: Emilie Boulard; Joanna Grisez, Nassira Konde, Gabrielle Vernier, Marine Ménager; Lina Queyroi, Pauline Bourdon Sansus; Annaëlle Deshaye, Agathe Sochat, Assia Khalfaoui, Manae Feleu (capt), Madoussou Fall, Charlotte Escudero, Gaëlle Hermet, Romane Ménager.

Replacements 16 Elisa Riffoneau, 17 Ambre Mwayembe, 18 Clara Joyeux, 19 Emeline Gros, 20 Teani Feleu, 21 Alexandra Chambon, 22 Anne-Cécile Ciofani, 23 Chloe Jacquet.

England: Ellie Kildunne; Abby Dow, Megan Jones, Tatyana Heard, Jess Breach; Holly Aitchison, Natasha Hunt; Hannah Botterman, Amy Cokayne, Maud Muir, Zoe Aldcroft, Morwenna Talling, Sadia Kabeya, Marlie Packer (capt), Alex Matthews.

Replacements 16 Connie Powell, 17 Mackenzie Carson, 18 Kelsey Clifford, 19 Abbie Ward, 20 Maddie Feaunati, 21 Lucy Packer, 22 Emily Scarratt, 23 Sydney Gregson.

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