Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Joseph Set to Haunt Patchell in England's Masterplan

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Joseph Set to Haunt Patchell in England's Masterplan

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Jones

EDDIE JONES has handed centre Jonathan Joseph a special role as part of a plan for England to suffocate Wales with a "ferocious" defence on Saturday.

Wales showed their strength on the opening weekend of the Six Nations as they routed Scotland 34-7 and Jones has reacted by changing his tactics.

Having chosen Ben Te'o to offer a physical threat in midfield in both attack and defence in England's defeat of Italy, Jones has now told Joseph to put pressure on Wales No10 Rhys Patchell.

Jones said: "Every time Rhys Patchell looks up he's going to see JJ in his vision it's not a great sight."

Joseph came off the bench in the second half of the 46-15 win in Rome on Sunday and added a cutting edge that Te'o was not able to deliver. That was not surprising as the Worcester centre was playing his first game since October and Jones believes it was asking too much to expect the Lions centre to back up that game just six days later.

Dealing with the recall for Joseph, he added: "It's a gut feeling on my behalf, Ben worked really hard to get back fit [after a lengthy injury lay-off ], but experience tells me sometimes in their second game back players are a little bit flat. JJ has been in good form in training. He's powerful, quick and will defend well.

"We were very happy with Benny Te'o last week, he played really well for us and we'll use him off the bench this week. We will use him as a 'finisher' and JJ's got great experience, he's fast, a great defensive player."

The Wales head coach, Warren Gatland, expected Joseph to be recalled while the other change Danny Care in for the injured Ben Youngs was heavily touted. England have included Te'o on the bench and he could make an impact later in the game along with 34-year-old Richard Wigglesworth who is now the back-up scrum-half.

Jones said: "Danny [Care] is more of a running player, which means the kicking duties will be shared a bit more. Richard is 34, trains like a 24-year-old, speaks like a 55-year-old so he's handy, really handy. He's a great addition to the squad."

The England coach knows his men have to reach a higher level of performance at Twickenham on Saturday and said: "We want to be an adaptable team and to play to the conditions, referee and game as sometimes the game controls you. …

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