England v Japan: Joe Cokanasiga to start Twickenham Test
The 6ft 4in Cokanasiga has scored three tries in five Premiership appearances for Bath this season
England v Japan
Venue: Twickenham Date: Saturday 17 November Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio 5 live with BBC Two highlights at 19:30 GMT

Bath’s 21-year-old winger Joe Cokanasiga will make his England debut against Japan as head coach Eddie Jones makes sweeping changes from the side that lost narrowly to New Zealand.

Cokanasiga is one of 11 personnel changes, with number eight Zach Mercer making his first start.

Worcester’s teenage flanker Ted Hill is a shock inclusion on the bench.

Fly-half George Ford captains the side on his 50th cap, with Dylan Hartley and Owen Farrell among the replacements.

Scrum-half Danny Care makes his first start since March, while Jones has changed the entire front row with Exeter props Alec Hepburn and Harry Williams either side of Saracens hooker Jamie George.

Jack Nowell, usually deployed as a wing, moves inside to play at outside centre, while Bath second row Charlie Ewels wins his ninth cap in place of the injured George Kruis.

Courtney Lawes comes in for Brad Shields in the back row, just as he did off the bench in the defeat by the All Blacks.

“This weekend is a good opportunity for us to test the depth of the squad,” Jones said.

England have a four-day turnaround between their first two matches at the World Cup in Japan next year, with their opener against Tonga on 22 September followed by a meeting with the United States on 26 September.

England have have deliberately shortened their time together in the run-up to Saturday’s Test in an attempt to replicate the challenges of their Japan 2019 schedule.

“We have also 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,” explained Jones.

England team to face Japan:

Daly; Cokanasiga, Nowell, Lozowski, Ashton: Ford, Care; Hepburn, George, Williams, Ewels, Itoje, Lawes, Wilson, Mercer.

Replacements: Hartley, Moon, Sinckler, Hill, Underhill, Wigglesworth, Farrell, Slade.

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