September 21, 2019

Six Nations: Hughes replaces Simmonds in England’s only change

Nathan Hughes will start at No8 over Sam Simmonds in England's only change ahead of Saturday's Six Nations Calcutta Cup match against Scotland at Murrayfield.

The Wasps back rower replaces Simmonds for his first match of the year after recovering from a knee injury, but elsewhere head coach Eddie Jones has kept his team unchanged from the victory over Wales just over a fortnight ago.

“Nathan Hughes has worked hard on his fitness," said Jones. "I’ve never seen him in better physical condition so we are looking forward to him playing. Nathan has a key role in defence and in us gaining momentum in attack.”

Read more:Drones, Pep Guardiola and "a bit of mongrel" – How Eddie Jones has helped England keep their edge after two years in charge

Harlequins prop Joe Marler is named on the bench for the first time at this Six Nations after serving a six-week suspension that saw him miss England's opening two games.

“We are really excited about this game and we will need to be very tough and relentless in our defence to keep the pressure on this Scottish team," said Jones.

“They are renowned for their attack so we will need to put pressure on them, create opportunities through our defence for our attack, and convert those opportunities to points.

“Our preparation over the last two weeks has been important in that it has allowed us to regenerate the players, improve the fitness of some and to get a clear understanding on how we will play this weekend."

Hughes' Wasps teammate will win a milestone 50th cap for England after keeping his place in the second row ahead of substitute George Kruis.

“For any player to play 50 caps for their country is a wonderful achievement," said Jones. "Joe has worked really hard to improve and is such an important player for us.”

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