November 15, 2018 / 11:38 AM / a month ago

Rugby-Cokanasiga starts for England as Jones makes 11 changes

BAGSHOT, England, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Winger Joe Cokanasiga will make his England debut and flyhalf George Ford will mark his 50th cap by captaining the team against Japan on Saturday after Eddie Jones named a side showing 11 changes to that beaten 16-15 by New Zealand.

Regular co-captains Dylan Hartley and Owen Farrell are named among the replacements as Jones gives a chance to some of his squad players in a bid to replicate next year’s World Cup when England start with two games in four days. Cokanasiga, the 18 stone Fiji-born back, turned 21 on Thursday. He will play on the right wing, with Chris Ashton, who scored a try after two minutes against the All Blacks, switching to the left.

Jack Nowell and Alex Lozowski form a new centre pairing while Danny Care starts at scrumhalf, with Richard Wigglesworth on the bench. Alec Hepburn, Harry Williams and hooker Jamie George provide a completely new front row, with Charlie Ewels and Maro Itoje at lock.

Courtney Lawes will play blindside flanker with Mark Wilson switching from number eight to openside and Zach Mercer making his first start, at the back of the scrum.

Uncapped 19-year-old Worcester flanker Ted Hill was named among the replacements.

England team to play Japan 15 Elliot Daly (Wasps, 23 caps) 14 Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby, uncapped) 13 Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 28 caps) 12 Alex Lozowski (Saracens, 4 caps) 11 Chris Ashton (Sale Sharks, 41 caps) 10 George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 49 caps) captain 9 Danny Care (Harlequins, 83 caps) 1 Alec Hepburn (Exeter Chiefs, 4 caps) 2 Jamie George (Saracens, 30 caps) 3 Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, 13 caps) 4 Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 8 caps) 5 Maro Itoje (Saracens, 24 caps) vice-captain 6 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 66 caps) 7 Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons, 6 caps) 8 Zach Mercer (Bath Rugby, 1 cap) Finishers 16 Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints, 95 caps) 17 Ben Moon (Exeter Chiefs, 2 caps) 18 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 15 caps) 19 Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors, uncapped) 20 Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 7 caps) 21 Richard Wigglesworth (Saracens, 31 caps) 22 Owen Farrell (Saracens, 63 caps) 23 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 15 caps) (Reporting by Mitch Phillips, editing by Toby Davis)

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