England v Scotland: Joe Cokanasiga out, Henry Slade in for hosts
|Six Nations 2019: England v Scotland|
|Venue: Twickenham Date: Saturday, 16 March Kick-off: 17:00 GMT|
|Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Radio Scotland, plus live text commentary on BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app|
Joe Cokanasiga has missed out on England’s match-day squad to face Scotland in the Six Nations as head coach Eddie Jones makes four changes.
Jack Nowell replaces Cokanasiga on the wing, while there are also recalls for prop Ben Moon, centre Henry Slade and flanker Mark Wilson.
Ben Youngs will become England’s most capped scrum-half in his 85th game.
Jones’ side will win the championship if they beat Scotland and Grand Slam-chasing Wales lose at home to Ireland.
If Ireland secure a bonus-point victory over Wales and England fail to score four tries in a win over Scotland, the two teams would be level on points at the top of the Six Nations table.
However England’s points difference, currently +83 compared to Ireland’s +19, would be enough to secure the title, barring an improbable scoreline in Cardiff.
Wales will lift the title if they beat Ireland, with three bonus points awarded for completing a Grand Slam.
Cokanasiga impressed on his first Six Nations start in last weekend’s 57-14 win over Italy, making more metres (107m) and clean breaks (five) than any other player.
However the 21-year-old has been left out of the 23-man squad in favour of Exeter’s industrious wing Nowell, who missed the meeting with the Azzurri with a shoulder complaint.
Cokanasiga was part of a heavyweight backline that featured Ben Te’o partnering Manu Tuilagi, however coach Jones has reverted to the playmaking skills of Slade as he attempts to win a third Six Nations title in four years.
“It is the last week of the tournament so it’s exciting. It will be a fascinating finish to the Championship with three teams that can win it and we are playing against one of our most traditional foes in Scotland for the Calcutta Cup,” said Jones.
“Scotland is a difficult side, they are always at you, they play with a lot of enthusiasm and effort and have got a lot of attacking strings to their bow. Finn Russell is an exceptional player at 10 and they have got some pace on the outside so we are going to have to defend really well against them.”
Scotland beat England at Murrayfield last season with Russell instrumental in a 25-13 victory, but it is 36 years since they managed to overturn their old rivals at Twickenham.
Last year’s contest came with controversy as a scuffle broke out in the tunnel before kick-off and Jones was abused by Scotland fans on a train back home the following day.
Jones has said he “remembers everything” about “how they carried on after they beat us last year”, but Russell has shrugged off suggestions that the meeting will be fuelled by memories of 12 months ago.
“Maybe it’s just Eddie being Eddie,” said the fly-half.
“That’s all a year ago now, so surely he’s not holding a grudge from that long ago, but you never know.”
Scotland have won just once in this year’s championship having been hindered by a raft of injuries. Blair Kinghorn, Stuart Hogg and Tommy Seymour have all been ruled out of the final round already with the visiting team to be announced on Thursday afternoon.
England: Daly, Nowell, Slade, Tuilagi, May; Farrell, Youngs; Moon, George, Sinckler, Launchbury, Kruis, Wilson, Curry, B Vunipola.
Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, Genge, Cole, Shields, Hughes, Spencer, Ford, Te’o