5 Feb 2016

Jones names first team as England coach

11:45 am on 5 February 2016

Eddie Jones unveiled a relatively conservative team for his first match as England coach, keeping his uncapped trio on the bench and going with the tried and tested to face Scotland in Edinburgh in their Six Nations opener on Saturday.

Eddie Jones

Eddie Jones Photo: Photosport

The Australian said last week that the Calcutta Cup match was not one to experiment in, so it comes as no surprise that flanker Jack Clifford, centre Ollie Devoto and prop Paul Hill are named among the replacements, while hooker Dylan Hartley begins his new role as captain.

As expected, Jones has opted for George Ford at first-five with Owen Farrell slotting in at second five and Danny Care edging Tom Youngs for the starting halfback berth.

Former captain Chris Robshaw switches to the blindside flank position, where he has been impressive for Harlequins this season, with James Haskell in at seven and No.8 Billy Vunipola completing a powerful back row.

George Kruis starts alongside Joe Launchbury in the second row with Courtney Lawes, who has been battling to overcome a hamstring strain, on the bench.

Meanwhile Scotland have recalled flanker John Barclay for their opening Six Nations championship game against England at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Across the Channel, France's new coach Guy Noves has made a bold choice by picking Sevens stalwart Virimi Vakatawa on the wing in a new-look team to face Italy in their opening Six Nations game, while an injury-hit Italy will hand Test debuts to four players, two in the backs and two in the pack, in their starting side.

-Reuters

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