England: Jack van Poortvliet, Sam Simmonds and Guy Porter start as Ben Youngs, Billy Vunipola and Manu Tuilagi drop to the bench

 Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

England head coach Eddie Jones has made five changes to his side to take on Japan in the Autumn Nations Series on Saturday.

The headline is at scrum-half with youngster Jack van Poortvliet given a start ahead of centurion Ben Youngs for the Twickenham clash.

Youngs struggled against Argentina and Van Poortvliet has been rewarded for his impact off the bench.

Gargantuan backs dropped

He is not the only change behind the scrum with Guy Porter and Jonny May coming in for Manu Tuilagi and Joe Cokanasiga respectively.

Tuilagi remains in the squad having been selected among the replacements but Cokanasiga misses out completely, despite being England’s most potent back last weekend.

Up front, England have gone for speed over power in the back-row, with Sam Simmonds replacing Billy Vunipola, but physicality over athleticism at lock as David Ribbans makes his debut.

Alex Coles, despite impressing against Argentina, has to make do with a place on the bench.

He is joined by injury-returnee Jamie George with Mako Vunipola, Joe Heyes, Youngs and Henry Slade also among the replacements.

Happy with the team’s position

Head coach Jones said: “We’ve worked hard this week to improve on last week’s performance. We’ve taken a good look at our preparation and we are happy with our position going into the game.

“We’ve made a few changes to the side as we play these four games in November. In particular with Manu we are balancing his workload.

“Japan are a very good and intriguing side. They play a unique type of rugby based on continuity and team cohesion and we’ll have to be at our best against them at Twickenham on Saturday.”

England: 15 Freddie Steward, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Guy Porter, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 Jonny May, 10 Marcus Smith, 9 Jack van Poortvliet, 8 Sam Simmonds, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Maro Itoje, 5 Jonny Hill, 4 David Ribbans, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Ellis Genge
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Joe Heyes, 19 Alex Coles, 20 Billy Vunipola, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Henry Slade, 23 Manu Tuilagi

Date: Saturday, November 12
Venue: Twickenham, London
Kick-off: 15:15 GMT
Referee: James Doleman (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Nic Berry (Australia), Craig Evans (Wales)
TMO: Eric Gauzins (France)

READ MORE: Expert Witness: Nick Easter demands passion, gas and specialism in England selections

The article England: Jack van Poortvliet, Sam Simmonds and Guy Porter start as Ben Youngs, Billy Vunipola and Manu Tuilagi drop to the bench appeared first on Planetrugby.com.