The Official Online RBS 6 Nations Store is open. The store has everything you need to get behind your team during the RBS 6 Nations, plus the store is now fully stocked with a much wider range of rugby merchandise.
Centre Mike Tindall’s physicality sees him replace Mathew Tait to combat the threat of Mathieu Bastareaud and the rest of France’s powerful back division.
There are two changes in the pack as well with fit-again Simon Shaw coming in for Louis Deacon and Lewis Moody returning to the side as openside with Joe Worsley shifting to his familiar position at blindside and James Haskell dropping to the bench.
Some of the changes were forced with Wilkinson, wing Ugo Monye and full-back Delon Armitage all picking up knocks in the 15-15 draw with Scotland.
However after disappointing performances against Italy, Ireland and Scotland, Johnson had been under pressure to introduce some fresh blood into the line-up.
Wilkinson in particular was under the spotlight at fly-half with England’s backline having just scored just two tries in the Six Nations so far through Danny Care and Mathew Tait.
Former Newcastle teammate Flood, who had a half-hour run-out against Scotland, swaps places with the world record points scorer from the bench.
Foden also impressed as a replacement in the Calcutta Cup while Saints teammate Ashton has been rewarded for his terrific strikerate of 19 tries in 25 appearances with a debut appearance.
Although England have won their last three RBS 6 Nations matches against France, they will still start as massive underdogs with Les Bleus just one win away from achieving their first Grand Slam in six years.
England: Ben Foden (Northampton); Mark Cueto (Sale), Mike Tindall (Gloucester), Riki Flutey (Brive), Chris Ashton (Northampton); Toby Flood (Leicester), Danny Care (Harlequins); Tim Payne (Wasps), Dylan Hartley (Northampton), Dan Cole (Leicester), Simon Shaw (Wasps), Steve Borthwick (Saracens, capt), Joe Worsley (Wasps), Lewis Moody (Leicester), Nick Easter (Harlequins)
Replacements: Steve Thompson (Brive), David Wilson (Bath), Louis Deacon (Leicester), James Haskell (Stade Francais), Ben Youngs (Leicester), Jonny Wilkinson (Toulon), Mathew Tait (Sale)