France v England, Six Nations, March 11
Flood dropped for France clash
ESPNscrum Staff
March 6, 2012
Leicester Tigers fly-half Toby Flood calls the shots, Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons, Anglo-Welsh Cup, Welford Road, Leicester, February 4, 2012
Toby Flood will be back in Leicester colours this weekend for their Anglo-Welsh Cup semi-final clash with Bath © Getty Images

Toby Flood has been dropped for England's Six Nations clash with France on Sunday following the return to fitness of Charlie Hodgson.

Flood, who came off the bench against Wales two weekends ago, has been released from the England squad to play for Leicester in Saturday's Anglo-Welsh Cup semi-final against Bath. Owen Farrell is expected to be retained at fly-half for England's trip to Paris following his impressive performance against Wales, with Hodgson set to return from a finger injury on the bench. The Saracens fly-half had started England's opening victories over Scotland and Italy before suffering the training-ground injury, which prompted Farrell's successful switch from inside centre.

England coach Stuart Lancaster will be forced to make one further change to his 22-man match-day squad after lock Courtney Lawes was ruled out of the championship with a shin problem. Tom Palmer would be the likely choice for a place on the bench after being dropped for the Wales game as England looked to tighten up their lineout. Lancaster names his squad on Friday.

Leicester No.8 Thomas Waldrom, Bath hooker Lee Mears and Northampton pair Paul Doran-Jones and Calum Clark have also been released for club duty this weekend. Northampton play the Scarlets on Sunday.

A further tranche of players will be released tomorrow as Lancaster whittles his squad down to the 24 players who will travel to Paris.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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