France head coach Fabien Galthie said on Thursday that Jonathan Danty was eager to face England after being selected for this weekend’s Six Nations game.
La Rochelle centre Danty replaces Yoram Moefana, who is on the bench, in one of three changes from the victory over Scotland in the last round.
Danty, a powerful ball-carrier, made the last of his 19 Test appearances in November and has played three club games since recovering from a knee injury.
“I bumped into Jonathan this morning and I said ‘I’m sure the journalists are going to ask something about you. Do you have something to say?'” Galthie told reporters.
“His response was short, he said he was keen.”
“With that he said everything. We understood all he needed to say,” he added.
Toulouse tight-head prop Dorian Aldegheri also comes in for the banned Mohamed Haouas with Sipili Falatea on the bench for a fourth straight Test.
Aldegheri will line up alongside club team-mates Julien Marchand and Cyril Baille in the front row.
“They’ve known each other since childhood pretty much at Toulouse. There’s something powerful there,” said Galthie.
“We preferred starting with this front three and when we need Sipili, he will bring all the energy needed to finish the match.”
The final change sees flanker Francois Cros taking the place of injured Anthony Jelonch for Saturday’s game at Twickenham.
There are also new faces on the bench in Peato Mauvaka, Maxime Lucu and Melvyn Jaminet as Galthie picked five forwards and three backs instead of his traditional six and two.
“You have to be flexible and take the right decisions with the potential and what you feel,” Galthie said.
“It felt obvious to choose 5-3.”
Les Bleus can still retain the Championship but need other results to go their way after victories over Italy and Scotland came either side of defeat to Ireland in round two.
France last won at Twickenham in 2007.
They will host this year’s Rugby World Cup which starts on September 8.
Thomas Ramos; Damian Penaud, Gael Fickou, Jonathan Danty, Ethan Dumortier; Romain Ntamack, Antoine Dupont (capt); Gregory Alldritt, Charles Ollivon, Francois Cros; Paul Willemse, Thibaud Flament; Dorian Aldegheri, Julien Marchand, Cyril Baille
Replacements: Peato Mauvaka, Reda Wardi, Sipili Falatea, Romain Taofifenua, Sekou Macalou, Maxime Lucu, Yoram Moefana, Melvyn Jaminet
Coach: Fabien Galthie (FRA)