Six Nations: England v Scotland (Saturday)

Dan Cole Leicester Tigers

Eddie Jones has resisted the temptation to put Billy Vunipola straight back into England's starting XV against Scotland on Saturday, instead naming the No8 among the replacements after selecting a side that features three changes for the Calcutta Cup match. "My dog was running around and he ran into it".

Jones refused to reveal the exact nature of Farrell's injury and gave contradictory answers as to whether the knock would sideline the 25-year-old from the Triple Crown decider at Twickenham. It's as simple as that.

When it was pointed out that his answers could be construed as ambiguous, Jones added: "Yeah, but I think he'll be all right, is that okay?"

However, I can see England taking this match by the scruff of the neck and going on to win with relative ease and based on their last two meetings, 15-9 (2016) and 25-13 (2015) I think backing England on the alternative margin (1-12pts) at 15/8 (Coral) is the best approach. We've got some great goal kickers.

"We know more or less what's coming and it's just a matter of withstanding that".

Should Farrell end up not making it - Hartley, who shares a room with him, is confident the fly-half will be fit - George Ford would take over the goal-kicking duties and Ben Te'o would slot into the starting midfield, with Alex Lozowski the next fly-half off the rank.




With Anthony Watson back to fitness, he returns to the bench which means that Jonny May is the casualty and drops out of the team and out of the matchday squad.

Replacements: J George (Saracens), M Vunipola (Saracens), K Sinckler (Harlequins), T Wood (Northampton), B Vunipola (Saracens), D Care (Harlequins), B Te'o (Worcester), A Watson (Bath).

He added: "I congratulate Joe Marler on his 50-cap milestone".

"[Billy's] always in with a chance, he's one of our best players, but he's not ready to start yet", he explained.

Jones' men are only two wins away from equalling New Zealand's incredible record of 18 wins on the bounce and the return of Vunipola might prove to be a massive boost in their mission to make that record their own.

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