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Cokanasiga missing as Jones reduces England squad from 36 to 25

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Alex Davidson/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

Two Joes who featured in last weekend’s England win over Japan – Joe Cokanasiga and Joe Heyes – have been omitted after Eddie Jones reduced his 36-strong squad to 25 ahead of Saturday’s Autumn Nations Series game versus the All Blacks.

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Cokanasiga was a late inclusion to start against the Japanese after Jack Nowell reported an abdominal wall injury ahead of the pre-game warmup while Heyes played off the bench as a second-half replacement for the starting England tighthead Kyle Sinckler

Cokanasiga has since reported an ankle injury, prising the door open for Tommy Freeman to remain on with the squad this week, while Heyes has lost out to Will Stuart, who was a fresh name included by Jones for training on the Monday and Tuesday of this week.

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Of the 19 forwards named in the 36-strong squad on Monday, Heyes, Sean Robinson, Bevan Rodd, Jack Singleton and Hugh Tizard have been cut to reduce the pack options to 14. In the backs, the list of 17 has been cut to eleven with Cokanasiga, George Furbank, Will Joseph, Alex Mitchell, Caden Murley and Adam Radwan all excluded.

A Tuesday evening RFU statement read: “Eddie Jones has retained a 25-player squad for England’s match against New Zealand this weekend. England will take on the All Blacks at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday (5.30pm KO). Joe Cokanasiga is unavailable for selection after suffering an ankle injury in England’s 52-13 win over Japan.”

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England squad (25 vs New Zealand, Saturday)
Forwards (14):
Alex Coles (Northampton Saints, 2 caps)
Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 39 caps)
Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 43 caps)
Ellis Genge (Bristol Bears, 41 caps)
Jamie George (Saracens, 70 caps)
Jonny Hill (Sale Sharks, 17 caps)
Maro Itoje (Saracens, 60 caps)
David Ribbans (Northampton Saints, 1 cap)
Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, 16 caps)
Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 54 caps)
Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 23 caps)
Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 66 caps)
Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 72 caps)
Jack Willis (unattached, 5 caps)

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Backs (11):
Owen Farrell (Saracens, 99 caps)
Tommy Freeman (Northampton Saints, 2 caps)
Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 70 caps)
Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 43 caps)
Guy Porter (Leicester Tigers, 3 caps)
Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 50 caps)
Marcus Smith (Harlequins, 15 caps)
Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 15 caps)
Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks, 48 caps)
Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers, 5 caps)
Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 119 caps)

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