Wednesday 21 March 2018

Jonathan Joseph returns in place of Ben Te'o for England for Wales clash due to Eddie Jones' 'gut feeling'

England head coach Eddie Jones. Photo: PA
England head coach Eddie Jones. Photo: PA

Jack de Menezes

Eddie Jones has made two changes to his England side that will take on Wales in the second round of the Six Nations this Saturday, with Jonathan Joseph returning to the side in place of centre Ben Te’o.

Joseph starts at outside centre after making an impact off the bench in last weekend's 46-15 victory over Italy in Rome, with Te'o demoted to a replacement role for the round-two match at Twickenham.

The second change sees Danny Care become England's most capped scrum-half, edging past the milestone of 77 held by Matt Dawson, after he was chosen to replace knee-injury victim Ben Youngs in the number nine jersey.

Richard Wigglesworth has been drafted straight on to the bench, having been called up as cover after Eddie Jones' first choice in the position ruptured his medial collateral ligament at the Stadio Olimpico.

"Danny Care very much deserves the honour of being the most capped England scrum-half and I am sure he'll make the most of his opportunity on Saturday," Jones said.

"We want to make sure our set-piece is dominant, our defence is ferocious and that we are at our best against Wales."

The selection of Joseph over Te'o was predicted by Wales coach Warren Gatland earlier this week and sees England restored to their strongest available starting XV.

Te'o impressed with his powerful carrying against Italy but faded in his first appearance since recovering from ankle surgery in mid-June and Jones has opted for the greater experience and slick footwork of Joseph in his place.

Apart from the presence of Te'o and Wigglesworth, the bench remains unchanged.

England: M Brown; A Watson, J Joseph, O Farrell, J May; G Ford, D Care; M Vunipola, D Hartley, D Cole; J Launchbury, M Itoje; C Lawes, C Robshaw, S Simmonds.

Replacements: J George, A Hepburn, H Williams, G Kruis, S Underhill, R Wigglesworth, B Te’o, J Nowell.

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