Monday, 25 March, 2019

Six Nations: England axe Cokanasiga for Scotland clash

Eddie Jones is in confident mood ahead of Saturday's Calcutta Cup clas Eddie Jones is in confident mood ahead of Saturday's Calcutta Cup clash
Sidney Guerrero | 16 March, 2019, 18:51

Cokanasiga has even been overlooked for the bench after losing his place on the right wing for Saturday's Guinness Six Nations finale at Twickenham to Jack Nowell, who has recovered from a shoulder stinger injury.

"Joe's a good, young player and we're looking after him", Jones told reporters at England's training base in Bagshot, southwest of London, on Thursday. "I've got some reasonable experience doing this".

Jones has reverted to his first-choice midfield, with Manu Tuilagi and Henry Slade paired in the centres.

Jones says the comparison was "rubbish conversation" earlier in the week.

While Cokanasiga did not score a try, he was a threat throughout as England regularly looked for him with their kicking game, while his offloading also caused Italy all sorts of problems.

'The improvements will come in his speed, power, timing, his running lines.

Scotland won the Calcutta Cup in 2018
Scotland won the Calcutta Cup in 2018

The English have their eyes on a much grander title, but the Six Nations trophy isn't in their hands heading into the final weekend.

England will be crowned Six Nations champions should they defeat Scotland by a bonus point and Wales lose to Ireland in Cardiff.

Ben Moon swaps with Ellis Genge in the front row while Mark Wilson comes in for Brad Shields who is named on the bench.

Starting number nine Ben Youngs will become England's most capped scrum-half on Saturday, overtaking Danny Care with his 85th outing. "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", said Jones. 'When they're blown up to be something they're not, it's hard for them, so that's part of it. Joe's a very good kid, but the media can turn anyone's head.' So, how had Cokanasiga taken the news of his demotion? "They are very well coached, great credit to them for what they have done - but they are starting to look a bit exhausted". "I am sure he will do the shirt great justice". "I remember he did it a little bit with Maro and he turned out all right", he said. Other people decide that.

"The only thing I know is that we have had a great week this week and we are absolutely excited by the prospect of us finishing well".

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