England boss Andy Robinson has rejected any notion that captain Martin Corry could be undermined by having been substituted twice during this season's RBS 6 Nations Championship.
Corry made way for Lawrence Dallaglio during the games against Wales and Scotland, and such a scenario could again unfold in France on Sunday.
"Against Scotland, we were losing 12-9 - and with the impact I felt Lawrence had given in the previous two games, that was the decision I had to make,'' Robinson said.
"I wasn't trying to undermine Martin's leadership in any shape or form.
"Martin is the captain - he is a very strong captain - and those decisions have got to be made during games."
Matt Dawson makes his first RBS 6 Nations start since England were beaten by Wales in Cardiff last year - while Matt Stevens starts in his more favoured position of loosehead, having recovered from a shoulder injury which sidelined him from the Edinburgh mission. Leicester's Julian White is retained as a rock-solid tighthead scrummager.
"Harry Ellis has performed really well for the team, but I was targeting Matt (Dawson) to be involved in a starting position for the French game," said Robinson.
"This is really horses for courses for this game. Matt's greater experience, his ability to control the forwards - which I think is slightly better than Harry's at present because of his experience - meant I felt it was the right choice.
"I don't get concerned about age. Matt has been performing well, and I have got every confidence in him."
Dawson, who will win his 76th cap, was England captain when they last beat France in Paris six years ago - and his experience will be critical as Robinson's side look for a victory which would keep alive their title hopes.
"I don't think the ship needs steadying," insisted Dawson.
"We had a bad day at the office against Scotland - and previous to that, we were very happy with the way we were going.
"I am enjoying my rugby - and while I have got an opportunity and while they [England management] want me around in the squad, I want to be pushing for a spot."
If England are to thwart the French they will need to be far more clinical in taking their chances than they were against Scotland.
"We have got to be in their faces and stop them playing," said Robinson.
"If you drop off your concentration for any moment then they can carve you apart.
"Tactically, we have got to be very astute and we have got to squeeze the life out of the French - stop the band playing and hear the crowd whistling, getting on their backs.
"The sooner we hear that then we know the team will be winning."
England flanker James Haskell insists he will be pushing as hard as possible to be back from a toe injury in time to make his case for a spot in Eddie Jones' side looking to defend their RBS 6 Nations title next year.