Eddie Jones omits wing despite stellar display against Italy
• Jack Nowell, Henry Slade, Ben Moon and Mark Wilson return
Joe Cokanasiga is a shock omission from the England side to face Scotland on Saturday following his man-of-the-match performance against Italy last week. Jack Nowell comes on to the right wing with Cokanasiga not even afforded a place on the bench.
In the three other changes made by Eddie Jones, Henry Slade returns at outside centre, with Manu Tuilagi moving to the No 12 jersey, while Mark Wilson and Ben Moon replace Brad Shields and Ellis Genge respectively.
Cokanasiga’s absence from the entire squad is the biggest surprise, however. Jones bristled at comparisons made last week to the All Blacks great Jonah Lomu by, among others, Sir Clive Woodward, and he is evidently eager to keep a lid on the hype that surrounds the 21-year-old Fiji-born winger. Jones has also hinted that Scotland’s pace on the wings played a part his decision. Nowell, meanwhile, did start against Wales but suffered a stinger injury early on in Cardiff and was not risked against Italy.
Apart from Courtney Lawes’s enforced absence, it is the same XV that lost to Wales in round three, with Joe Launchbury coming into the second row. The Saracens scrum-half, Ben Spencer, is on the bench and appears set to make his first Six Nations appearance while Ben Te’o is also among the replacements.
Jones has also resisted any temptation to rekindle the 10-12 axis of George Ford and Owen Farrell, with the former on the bench and the captain again at fly-half. The inclusion of Marcus Smith in the training squad earlier in the week had suggested that Jones was considering starting Ford but Farrell continues in the No 10 jersey. Ben Youngs, meanwhile, makes his 85th appearance, making him England’s most capped scrum-half of all time.