Jones backs Joseph to put 'heat' on Wales's Patchell

Julian GUYER
"Every time Rhys Patchell looks up he's going to see 'JJ' in his vision," England coach Eddie Jones said, explaining his decision to start centre Jonathan Joseph against Wales

England coach Eddie Jones has backed Jonathan Joseph to make life tough for Wales fly-half Rhys Patchell after recalling the centre for Saturday's Six Nations clash at Twickenham.

Outside centre Joseph and scrum-half Danny Care, in for the injured Ben Youngs, are the only two changes to the run-on XV that launched England's Six Nations title defence with a 46-15 win away to Italy on Sunday -- a match where they both starred off the bench.

Joseph has changed places with Worcester midfielder Ben Te'o, with his return forecast by Warren Gatland when the Wales coach named his side on Tuesday.

"It's just my gut feeling," said Jones at England's training base in Bagshot, southwest of London, on Thursday.

"I feel he (Joseph) will start the game well against Wales," added the Australian, who has won 23 of his 24 Tests in charge of England.

Wales come into this match on the back of thrashing Scotland 34-7 in Cardiff, a match where Patchell impressed in his first Six Nations start following injuries to first-choice Wales fly-halves Dan Biggar and Rhys Priestland.

But Jones said Joseph's sheer speed would provide Patchell with a tougher test.

"JJ's got great experience, he's fast, a great defensive player," Jones insisted of the 36-times capped Bath center.

"Every time Rhys Patchell looks up he's going to see 'JJ' in his vision -- it's not a great sight," Jones said adding that Wales "have got to get the ball wide and Patchell hasn't played much Test match rugby.

"He's a young guy, he's inexperienced and he’s their third-choice 10. He’s got to get the ball wide and that's going to be a big job for him."

- 'Pressure' -

Jones added: "It's going to be different to playing against Scotland, Scotland couldn't cope with the expectation.

"Now he (Patchell) has got to cope with the expectation of playing well. He's got to find guys around him to help him because he's going to be under some heat."

But Wales assistant coach Robin McBryde responded by saying: "I think anyone wearing the number 10 jersey, they are going to expect to be put under pressure, so nothing changes there."

Patchell, McBryde said, "is surrounded by a number of players from his (Scarlets) region and that cohesion it brings, that familiarity, will hopefully stand up under the pressure of international rugby. As we saw last Saturday, it was good to watch."

This weekend will see Care, starting after Youngs suffered a tournament-ending knee injury in Rome, become England's most capped scrum-half when he makes his 78th Red Rose appearance to move past 2003 Rugby World Cup winner Matt Dawson.

"Danny is more of a running player, which means the kicking duties will be shared a bit more," said Jones of the Harlequins No 9.

Richard Wigglesworth, who plays for Quins' London rivals Saracens, the European champions, provides bench cover.

"He's been magnificent mate, truly professional," said Jones of Wigglesworth. "He's 34, trains like a 24-year-old, speaks like a 55-year-old -- a great addition to the squad."

Spectators at Twickenham have have often been accused of lacking the passion commonplace at other Six Nations venues but former Australia and Japan coach Jones expects a capacity crowd to be roaring England on this weekend.

"The 82,000 it's like our 24th man," Jones said. "They are going to be full of energy, full of passion and it's going to be a great Saturday."