Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Ashton Sticking with His Heroes

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Ashton Sticking with His Heroes

Article excerpt

Byline: CHRIS JONES

BRIAN ASHTON today named the same England team that shocked Australiafor the titanic World Cup semi-final clash with France in Paris on Saturday.

It means 36-year-old Mike Catt, a late replacement for the injured Andy Farrelland Olly Barkley, keeps his place while Jason Robinson wins his 50th cap.

While Farrell (calf) and Barkley (dead leg) are both now fit, neither has madethe bench after Ashton decided to stick with the same 22 who beat Australia12-10.

Since he took over from Andy Robinson in the new year, Ashton's reign has beenmarked by disruptions caused by injury and illness.

But for the first time in 16 matches in charge, he has finally achieved somecontinuity by picking the same team for consecutive games.

France, buoyed by their stunning win over New Zealand, have also decided toname an unchanged 22 for the Stade de France clash.

Frederic Michalak has failed to displace Lionel Beauxis at fly-half, despiteturning the game when he came on as a second-half substitute against the AllBlacks. …

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