England drop Cokanasiga as Jones rings changes for Scotland

LONDON – Joe Cokanasiga has been dropped by England coach Eddie Jones for Saturday’s Six Nations finale against Scotland at Twickenham.

The powerhouse wing produced a man-of-the-match display in England’s 57-14 thrashing of Italy as he rampaged around Twickenham last weekend, with former England coach Clive Woodward comparing the Fiji-born flyer to New Zealand great Jonah Lomu.

But Cokanasiga was not even named on the bench for the Calcutta Cup clash against Scotland with fellow wing Jack Nowell, the man he came in for last weekend, restored to the side following a shoulder ‘stinger’ injury in one of four changes made by Jones.

Elsewhere Henry Slade returns in the centres to partner Manu Tuilagi.

Ben Te’o drops to the bench, with Jones opting for a more traditional midfield balance of guile and strength following last week’s power-packed duo. 

There are also two changes in the pack, with Mark Wilson back at blindside flanker instead of Brad Shields and prop Ben Moon returning in place of Ellis Genge.

Ben Youngs will make his 85th appearance to surpass the England record for a scrum-half held by Danny Care.

If Wales beat Ireland in Cardiff earlier on Saturday they will be crowned champions and complete a Grand Slam.

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But if the Welsh lose, England will take the title instead if they beat the Scots.

"It’s the last week of the tournament so it’s exciting. It will be a fascinating finish too, with the three teams that can win it and we are playing against one of our most traditional foes in Scotland," Jones said Thursday.

"Scotland are a difficult side — they are always at you, they play with a lot of enthusiasm and effort and have got a lot of attacking strings to their bow," the Australian added.

Scotland beat England 25-13 at Murrayfield to win the Calcutta Cup last season but they have only defeated Italy so far in this Six Nations and have not won at Twickenham since 1983.

Gregor Townsend, the Scotland coach, is due to name his side later Thursday. 

England (15-1)

Elliot Daly; Jack Nowell, Henry Slade, Manu Tuilagi, Jonny May, Owen Farrell (capt), Ben Youngs; Billy Vunipola, Tom Curry, Mark Wilson; George Kruis, Joe Launchbury; Kyle Sinckler, Jamie George, Ellis Genge

Replacements: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Ellis Genge, Dan Cole, Brad Shields, Nathan Hughes, Ben Spencer, George Ford, Ben Te’o

Agence France-Presse (AFP)

108915645 - England drop Cokanasiga as Jones rings changes for Scotland

1 Comment

  • Tremendously thought out! Found myself staring at it for minutes.

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