Friday 13 December 2019

Hughes returns

England's Nathan Hughes during a training session. Photo: PA
England's Nathan Hughes during a training session. Photo: PA Sportsdesk

Eddie Jones has made one change to his England starting XV that will take on Scotland in this tomorrow's Six Nations Calcutta Cup clash, with Nathan Hughes returning from injury to start at No 8 in place of the injured Sam Simmonds.

Hughes is named following his recovery from a knee injury suffered while on Wasps duty in December, and his return could not be timed more perfectly following Simmonds' unavailability due to the shoulder injury he suffered against Wales two weeks ago.

Having played 26 minutes on his return for Wasps on the same weekend, Hughes has undergone an intense conditioning regime within the England camp over the last 10 days, and Jones has no fears about unleashing the Fiji-born back-row at Murrayfield despite his lack of game time.

"I've never seen him in better physical condition so we are looking forward to him playing," Jones said.

"Nathan has a key role in defence and in us gaining momentum in attack."

The return of Hughes is the one of two changes in the England squad, with Joe Marler returning to the bench after a six-week suspension.

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, Nathan Hughes. Reps: J George, J Marler, H Williams, G Kruis, S Underhill, R Wigglesworth, B Te'o, J Nowell

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