Rugby Union

Eddie Jones England era 'starts with a bang'

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James Haskell insists Eddie Jones' England regime has "started with a bang" as the head coach named his first matchday squad ahead of the RBS 6 Nations opener against Scotland.

Three uncapped players are on course to make their international debuts at Murrayfield on February 6 after back row Jack Clifford, prop Paul Hill and centre Ollie Devoto were retained at the squad's Surrey training base.

Lock Maro Itoje is among the 10 players sent back to their clubs for this weekend's Aviva Premiership matches and Jones has opted for Jonathan Joseph at outside centre after Elliot Daly was released.

Daly has been in outstanding form for Wasps and was named man of the match after scoring an electric try against Leinster on Saturday, but Jones has looked to Joseph's greater experience for his first match in charge.

George Ford and Owen Farrell are thought to be favoured at fly-half and inside centre respectively, so Devoto has been retained to provide cover for the number 12 jersey from the bench.

In total there are 12 survivors from the matchday squad toppled 33-13 by Australia in October, a result that sealed England's World Cup demise.

England's squad assembled on Sunday night and following a day of meetings and administrative obligations, Jones oversaw his first proper training session.

"It was good. It started with a bang, as might have been expected," Haskell said.

"I didn't know what to expect. Eddie's very straight talking - he has demanded high standards and the understanding is that winning is the most important factor in everything we do.

"It's a different mindset and implementation to what has gone on before. Eddie is a very straight-talking guy, likes a bit of banter and has shot me down a couple of times.

"He is a constant presence, which I think is great. There is a big focus on attention to detail, everything is well thought out, well planned and well presented.

"The need for a massive re-build is not the case. Eddie is not trying to start afresh - he's brought some boys in, he's got boys that he wants to play and has picked people who are on form.

"He wants to seize the day and that's what we all want to do, but the first and only goal is Scotland."

Dylan Hartley has been appointed captain for the Six Nations and Haskell insists his presence has already been felt.

"Dylan only been in charge one day but he's demanding accountability from players and putting the onus back on the boys to win," Hartley said.

"He was vocal in training and led things from the front when required. He's quite good at that and that'll build up more and more.

"With people eager to make an impression there were quite a few voices anyway."

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