Eddie Jones wants 'in-your-face' captaincy from Owen Farrell

Fantasy Rugby 2018: Week four Six Nations preview (2:47)

Former England centre Tom May and former Scotland scrum-half Rory Lawson preview who they feel will make the difference in their Fantasy Rugby sides ahead of the week four fixtures. (2:47)

Eddie Jones wants aggression from captain Owen Farrell on Saturday and has told the playmaker to not dial back his uncompromising, in-your-face persona when he leads England out against France in the Six Nations.

Captaincy can be to a player's detriment, affecting their form. But with Dylan Hartley absent, Jones wants Farrell to be himself, leading from the front and getting in the French player's faces, showing the same sort of passion that saw him "do the right thing for the team" in the Murrayfield tunnel bust up, according to the England coach.

Hartley may not be starting, but he will be there on the field in spirit, with Jones wanting Farrell's captaincy to be in the same guise of their absent skipper.

"To sum it up; he is no-nonsense and just gets on with it," Jones said of Farrell. "He knows what he wants to do, he knows what the team needs to do and he is quite direct in communicating that.

"He expects high standards. He has been super-loyal to Dylan and to the team, so when Dylan was unavailable it was an easy option for me to take, because we want someone in the same mould as Dylan."

Jones would not look beyond France when asked about future plans regarding Hartley and the captaincy. Hartley, missing out with a calf injury, sits out his first Test under Jones' reign, but though the England coach weighed up the nuances of how the "transfer of power" will work on Saturday, but this is not a case of one captain ceremonially passing on the mantle to the next incumbent but more a temporary measure.

"I think we've got guys now who work for each other and understand that one person has a 'C' next to their name and you've got to give them everything you've got," Jones said.

But still Hartley will be there in the Stade de France stands, watching how Farrell fares. Farrell himself will augment his own captaincy with lessons learned from the five captains he has played under:

Steve Borthwick and Brad Barritt from Saracens, Sam Warburton on British & Irish Lions duty and then Chris Robshaw and Hartley with England. He talked of it being an honour, but in his own understated, unwavering, focused manner, added how he plans to lead by example, actions over words.

"The main thing for me as a leader anyway is that you perform well. That's most of the battle," Farrell said. He will glean as much knowledge off Hartley until the moment they walk out on to the Stade de France field and away from his own in-game involvement, will also adapt Hartley's manner of talking to the referees.

"Dylan does it very well. He is very calm," Farrell said. Communication with Saturday's official Jaco Peyper is one area where Jones wants Farrell to be a little less fire-and-brimstone, but he may struggle communicating with his opposite number Guilhem Guirado as he got a D in French GCSE.

"We want him to be in their face," Jones said of Farrell. "That is one of the best attributes of his play. He is an aggressive, in-your-face type player. We want him to be like that. We don't want him to be aggressive and in the face of Peyper when he is at the referee.

"That is when he is going to have to have that ability to change but he does that with his goal-kicking, every time he goal-kicks, he slows himself down and gets his heart-rate down and kicks superbly and that is the role he will have to do when he is captain and needs to speak to the referee."

Saturday's team selection is "horses for causes", Jones said, dismissing any theory this is a sign of England teams to come. Instead this Hartley-less team, one with a quicker backline with Mike Brown among the replacements and Anthony Watson starting at fullback in a side that features Ben Te'o on Mathieu Bastareaud-hunting duty is just one picked with tunnel vision for Saturday.

Jones talks of the France game a "must-win" Test, as England look to keep their championship aspirations alive after their defeat to Scotland. There was plenty of introspection after that Scotland defeat.

Jones says they have changed their "mindset" in the past fortnight, declining to expand on exactly what shift has happened. But the buzzwords have been "loyalty" and "aggression", both qualities Farrell personifies. So it is a team still in Hartley's image, but one metamorphosed into Farrell for Saturday.

"Every good player just wants clear, direct messages and you are going to get that from Owen," Jones said. "He's a man of few words. He's a northerner and he gets to the point. What he says, they will understand. "Everyone's got the responsibility of bringing energy and intensity. Owen will lead that."