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Hughes returns in only England change

22 febrero 2018 10:45

Nathan Hughes has returned to England's starting XV in the only change for Saturday's crunch Calcutta Cup clash against Scotland.

The powerful Wasps number eight has been sidelined since December with a knee injury and missed the opening two rounds of the Six Nations, which resulted in wins over Italy and Wales.

His recovery is a timely one with Sam Simmonds having injured his shoulder last time out against Wales at Twickenham.

"Nathan Hughes has worked hard on his fitness. I've never seen him in better physical condition so we are looking forward to him playing," head coach Eddie Jones said. 

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

Harlequins prop Joe Marler returns to the replacements having served a six-week suspension for striking TJ Ioane with his shoulder during Harlequins' 30-29 defeat to Sale Sharks last month.

Owen Farrell is fit to play at inside centre despite having struggled with a leg injury during the week, while captain Dylan Hartley will become England's second-most capped player on 92 – overtaking Jonny Wilkinson on the all-time list.

Second-rower Joe Launchbury will earn a landmark 50th cap, having made his England debut in 2012.

On Launchbury's achievement, Jones added: "For any player to play 50 caps for their country is a wonderful achievement. 

"Joe has worked really hard to improve and is such an important player for us."

 

England XV: Mike Brown, Anthony Watson, Jonathan Joseph, Owen Farrell, Jonny May, George Ford, Danny Care; Mako Vunipola, Dylan Hartley, Dan Cole, Joe Launchbury, Maro Itoje, Courtney Lawes, Chris Robshaw, Nathan Hughes.

Replacements: Jamie George, Joe Marler, Harry Williams, George Kruis, Sam Underhill, Richard Wigglesworth, Ben Te'o, Jack Nowell.

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