Eddie Jones has released ten players back to their clubs
Bath Centre Jonathan Joseph appears to have won the battle to start
Paul Hill, Ollie Devoto and Jack Clifford set for first caps against Scotland
Eddie Jones has started life as England coach with a bang after he ruthlessly cut Elliott Daly and Maro Itoje from his England squad for their Six Nations opener against Scotland .
Daly and Itoje are two of 10 players sent back to his club on Tuesday and will be in contention to play in the Aviva Premiership this weekend.
Three players are on course to make their Test debuts against Scotland at Murrayfield on February 6, after Saints prop Paul Hill, Quins back-row Jack Clifford and Bath Centre Ollie Devoto were all named in the 23-man retained list.
Clifford has won the race to offer back-row cover from the bench, with Sale’s Josh Beaumont, Matt Kvesic and Itoje somewhat surprisingly all being sent back to their respective clubs.
Jonathan Joseph of Bath has seen off the challenge of Daly, for now at least and will form a midfield alliance with Owen Farrell, while George Ford will wear No 10 and probably pick up where he left off at the end of the World Cup calamity.
This comes as no surprise as Jones has often went for more creativity in his midfield, rather than the bulky looking Sam Burgess and Brad Barritt partnership we saw earlier this year.
Daly though had been in outstanding form for Wasps for the majority of the season and was named man of the match after scoring an outstanding solo try against Leinster on Saturday, but Jones has looked to Joseph’s greater experience for his first match in charge. So much for picking players on form then.
There are in total 12 survivors from the matchday squad toppled 33-13 by Australia in October, a result that sealed England’s first ever exit from a Rugby World Cup at the pool stages of the competiton/.
England name their starting-15 to face Scotland on Thursday February 4.
(Forwards) Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Jack Clifford (Harlequins), Jamie George (Saracens), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), James Haskell (Wasps), Paul Hill (Northampton Saints), George Kruis (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), (Backs) Mike Brown (Harlequins), Danny Care (Harlequins), Ollie Devoto (Bath Rugby), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Bath Rugby), Alex Goode (Saracens), Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)