George Ford recalled for England as Eddie Jones makes changes from Scotland trouncing

George Ford in action for England

George Ford will start for England in their second 2021 Six Nations game at home to Italy. - Credit: DAVID DAVIES/PA

Eddie Jones has made sweeping changes to the England squad to face Italy in the Six Nations after the horror show against Scotland. 

The 11-6 defeat at Twickenham on Saturday was the first Scottish win at HQ since 1983 and the score was not a fair reflection of the visitors' dominance. 

Head coach Jones said he would look long and hard at personnel and tactics ahead of Italy's visit, and has gone with five changes to the starting line-up. 

Former Harpenden St George's pupil George Ford returns at fly-half with fellow Georgian Owen Farrell moving to inside-centre. 

But it is in the forwards where the majority of changes come, with an entirely different front row making three of them. 

Mako Vunipola is back from injury at loose-head prop with Kyle Sinckler on the other side of Luke Cowan-Dickie, who comes in for Welwyn Garden City-born Jamie George. 

Courtney Lawes also starts at blind-side flanker, replacing Newcastle Falcons powerhouse Mark Wilson. 

Most Read

The third former pupil of the Sun Lane school in Harpenden, Maro Itoje, retains his position in the second row while Max Malins, who like Itoje spent time with Old Albanian, is still on the bench. 

Jones said: "As always, we’ve picked what we think is our strongest 23 to try and win the game. 

“We’re pleased to have Mako and Kyle back into the team and we’ve made some changes to our starting XV, but our finishers are just as important to our game plan.  We look at the whole 80 minutes. 

“We’ve trained very well this week, I’ve been very pleased with the players’ attitudes and work-rate. 
  
England side to play Italy: 
15. Elliot Daly (Saracens, 48 caps) 
14. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 47 caps) 
13. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 35 caps) 
12. Owen Farrell (C) (Saracens, 89 caps) 
11. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 62 caps) 
10. George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 73 caps) 
9. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 105 caps) 
1. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 63 caps) 
2. Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 27 caps) 
3. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 40 caps) 
4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 44 caps) 
5. Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, 5 caps) 
6. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 86 caps) 
7. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 29 caps) 
8. Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 57 caps) 
  
Substitutes: 
16. Jamie George (Saracens, 55 caps) 
17. Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 24 caps) 
18. Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 9 caps) 
19. Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 17 caps) 
20. Ben Earl (Bristol Bears, 9 caps) 
21. Jack Willis (Wasps, 2 caps) 
22. Dan Robson (Wasps, 8 caps) 
23. Max Malins (Bristol Bears, 4 caps) 

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter