England v Italy: Joe Cokanasiga will make his first Six Nations start as Eddie Jones makes five changes

By Chris Jones

BBC rugby union correspondent

Joe Cokanasiga will arrangement his first Six Nations originate in opposition to Italy
Six Nations: England v Italy
Venue: Twickenham, London Date: Saturday, 9 March Kick-off: 16:forty five GMT
Protection: Are residing commentary on BBC Radio 5 Are residing, BBC Sport web region and BBC Sport app, plus reside textual disclose commentary on-line.

England captain Owen Farrell says he would now not wish to play in opposition to the giant backline head coach Eddie Jones is unleashing on Italy at Twickenham on Saturday.

Jones has picked the mighty pair of Manu Tuilagi and Ben Te’o in the centre, with Joe Cokanasiga making his first Six Nations originate from the cruise.

“It be huge – I could well now not wish to play in opposition to it,” Farrell educated BBC Sport.

“We occupy got to arrangement certain these boys get in the game.”

Cokanasiga, 21, made his England debut in November, scoring tries in opposition to Japan and Australia.

He came off the bench at the tip of England’s defeat by Wales closing day day out, nonetheless has yet to originate a championship match.

“He is huge, he is extremely mercurial, he is received absolute best skills and he is higher in the air,” Farrell acknowledged of the 6’3″ 18-stone support.

Head coach Jones added: “It be one thing diversified for us – over the closing four years now we occupy had slightly runt backlines.

“We occupy got all people fit and available and or now not it’s a risk to play some substantial guys collectively.”

Up entrance Ellis Genge starts alongside Jamie George and Kyle Sinckler in a entrance row Jones believes can raise ball “higher than any diversified entrance row on this planet”.

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Meanwhile Jones has opted to combine Te’o and Tuilagi collectively for the first time from the originate of a Test.

“He is a mighty runner and that is one of my strengths as effectively,” Te’o acknowledged. “Whoever they set up me with we are capable of figure it out.”

With Maro Itoje struggling with a knee enviornment, lock Launchbury starts alongside George Kruis, with Nathan Hughes providing bench duvet.

Jones has resisted the temptation to originate Dan Robson in opposition to the Azzurri, with Ben Youngs and Owen Farrell persevering with at half of-support.

“Italy is a exiguous of an unknown quantity nonetheless when Conor allows them to play rugby they play effectively,” Jones added.

“They occupy got performed terrific games in the Six Nations. They are more healthy, bodily end in the competition plenty longer and additionally they’re moderately unpredictable in the arrangement they assault.

“We ask Italy to throw the ball around a exiguous so we’re going to occupy to shield very effectively in opposition to their unpredictability and when now we occupy received the ball, now we occupy to exhaust it properly.”

“We are having a inspect ahead to getting support to Twickenham. We occupy got now not performed there for the rationale that France game so this can also be nice to play in entrance of our dwelling crowd.”

England personnel to face Italy: Daly, Cokanasiga, Tuilagi, Te’o, Can also, Farrell, Youngs; Genge, George, Sinckler, Launchbury, Kruis, Shields, Curry, Vunipola.

Replacements: Cowan-Dickie, Moon, Cole, Hughes, Wilson, Robson, Ford, Slade.

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