England vs Wales: Eddie Jones forced into three changes with Slade, McConnochie and Underhill ruled out

Jonathan Joseph, Joe Cokanasiga and Lewis Ludlam are drafted into the starting line-up but Eddie Jones refuses to discuss details of a training camp altercation between Mike Brown and Ben Te’o

Jack de Menezes
Saturday 10 August 2019 13:45
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Eddie Jones refused to discuss a training camp incident as he announced three changes to the side to face Wales
Eddie Jones refused to discuss a training camp incident as he announced three changes to the side to face Wales

England have been forced into three late changes to the side that will play Wales on Sunday, with Henry Slade, Sam Underhill and debutant Ruaridh McConnochie all ruled out with injury.

Eddie Jones confirmed on Saturday that Joe Cokanasiga will replace Bath wing McConnochie, who has suffered a hip injury, while both Slade and Underhill have been sidelined with knee and toe injuries respectively and will be replaced in the starting XV by Jonathan Joseph and uncapped Lewis Ludlam.

Both Courtney Lawes and Manu Tuilagi have been added to the replacements bench, but the late reshuffle is likely to hinder England's preparations after training all week with the starting XV that was announced on Friday.

The incoming trio will need to get up to speed quickly, given that Wales have named a full-strength side featuring 12 of the 15 players who beat England last February, which will be lead by Alun Wyn Jones on his record-breaking 135th appearance.

The setbacks are the latest blow to England’s preparations for their first Quilter International against Wales, following news of a training camp altercation last week between Ben Te’o and Mike Brown.

Both players found themselves dropped from the Test-week squad last Monday, and while it's understood that an “altercation” did take place during the squad’s warm-weather training camp in Treviso, Jones refused to discuss the details of it.

"No I'm not able to confirm that,” Jones said when asked about the incident. “I'm not able to confirm. I think I've answered the question."

It capped a bizarre press conference from the Australian, in which he initially declined to reveal who the injured players were for Sunday’s match even when prompted by the England media officer.

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