England winger Joe Cokanasiga will make his international debut against Japan at Twickenham on Saturday as head coach Eddie Jones made 11 changes to the side that started in the defeat to New Zealand last weekend.
Co-captains Owen Farrell and Dylan Hartley have been named on the bench, alongside Sam Underhill and Henry Slade. George Ford starts at No.10 and will skipper the side in Farrell’s absence while Jamie George plays at hooker.
A fired-up Eddie Jones says his England side will be “absolutely ruthless” and aiming to “physically smash” Japan when the teams meet on Saturday.
Japan head coach Jamie Joseph has revealed his squad are paid just £13 day as they prepare to face England on Saturday.
Jack Nowell and Alex Lozowski line up as England’s centre pairing, winger Chris Ashton receives his second start of the month as he switches from right to left wing, while Danny Care starts at scrum-half, with Ben Youngs rested from the squad.
Zach Mercer will make his first start at No.8 as Mark Wilson moves to flanker. Uncapped apprentice Ted Hill could win his first England cap after being named on the bench.
“This weekend is a good opportunity for us to test the depth of the squad,” Jones said.
“A number of players have changed their roles going from finishers to starters and starters to finishers so that is the essential change to the squad. It is exciting to be able to give starting opportunities to Zach Mercer and Joe Cokanasiga and young Ted Hill on the bench.
“We took Joe on tour in 2017 to Argentina. He was a young lad, probably didn’t really understand what it takes to be a top line player but he had a lot of natural talent. Now he’s starting to hone that talent through hard work, and with a real growth mindset, so we’re really pleased with how he’s progressed.
“We have tested ourselves in having a shorter preparation. We gave the players two days off after three weeks of intensive work. We have had a short preparation but a good preparation.”
Meanwhile Japan have made eight changes from the team beaten 69-31 by New Zealand on Nov. 3.
Experienced winger Akihito Yamada returns but there is no place for Jamie Henry who scored a try on his debut against the All Blacks.
The Brave Blossoms will be captained by Michael Leitch, who was at the helm for their famous victory over South Africa at the 2015 World Cup.
England team to face Japan
15. Elliot Daly 14. Joe Cokanasiga 13. Jack Nowell 12. Alex Lozowski 11. Chris Ashton 10. George Ford (captain) 9. Danny Care; 1. Alec Hepburn 2. Jamie George 3. Harry Williams 4. Charlie Ewels 5. Maro Itoje 6. Courtney Lawes 7. Mark Wilson 8. Zach Mercer
Japan team to face England
15. Willam Tupou, 14. Akihito Yamada, 13. Timothy Lafaele, 12. Ryoto Nakamura, 11. Kenki Fukuoka, 10. Yu Tamura, 9. Fumiaki Tanaka; 1. Keita Inagaki, 2. Atsushi Sakate, 3. Jiwon Koo, 4. Wimpie van der Walt, 5. Uwe Helu, 6. Michael Leitch (captain), 7. Masakatsu Nishikawa, 8. Kazuki Himeno