England boss Eddie Jones axes Ben Youngs for Scotland showdown in one of five changes

Eddie Jones has axed long-standing scrum-half Ben Youngs from his starting team as he seeks to revive England’s Six Nations hopes at Murrayfield on Saturday. Youngs, who has won 96 caps, is relegated to the bench with the England coach promoting Gloucester’s Willi Heinz in his place for what will be his first start in the championship.

There are three changes to the pack after the defeat to France last weekend with Mako Vunipola recalled to add some much-needed ball-carrying power against the Scots in place of Joe Marler who is not included in the 23.

George Kruis replaces Charlie Ewels in the second row while there is also a switch in the back row with Lewis Ludlam coming in at flanker for Northampton colleague Courtney Lawes who is a replacement.

Bath hooker Tom Dunn and Saracens back row Ben Earl are set to make their debuts off the bench and are joined by the fit-again Joe Launchbury.

Dunn steps in for Luke Cowan-Dickie who left the squad this morning to return to his partner who has gone into labour.

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Jones is persisting with his much-criticised experiment of utilising Tom Curry at No 8 and has also stuck by full-back George Furbank who endured a difficult debut at the Stade de France, making just one enforced change to the backline with Jonathan Joseph replacing the injured Manu Tuilagi at centre.

“We have sought to address the issues from the France game and have had a really good and sharp preparation for Scotland,” said Jones.

“Scotland are a dangerous side. They like to play with a lot of width and with a lot of flow and tempo in their game. We want to make sure we dominate the gain line.

“Their win record against England at Murrayfield is substantially higher than their overall record against us, so we have to recognise they are a dangerous beast and we have to be at our best to beat them.”


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England starting XV

15 George Furbank (Northampton Saints, 1 cap)

14 Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 53 caps)

13 Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 48 caps)

12 Owen Farrell (Saracens, 80 caps) (captain)

11 Elliot Daly (Saracens, 40 caps)

10 George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 66 caps)

9 Willi Heinz (Gloucester Rugby, 10 caps)

1 Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 58 caps)

2 Jamie George (Saracens, 46 caps)

3 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 32 caps)

4 Maro Itoje (Saracens, 35 caps)

5 George Kruis (Saracens, 42 caps)

6 Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints, 7 caps)

7 Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 16 caps)

8 Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 20 caps)


16 Tom Dunn (Bath Rugby, uncapped)

17 Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 15 caps)

18 Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 1 cap)

19 Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 62 caps)

20 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 82 caps)

21 Ben Earl (Saracens, uncapped)

22 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 96 caps)

23 Ollie Devoto (Exeter Chiefs, 2 caps)

source: express.co.uk