England coach Eddie Jones switches tack in training by moving Ollie Thorley from wing to flanker ahead of Georgia clash
- Thorley made his debut on the wing in the Six Nations victory over Italy
- But the 24-year-old could feature as a flanker against Georgia on Saturday
- Jones switched his scenario planning by deploying eight backs in run-throughs
Jones hatched a cunning plan over the weekend by suggesting he could select nine forwards and six backs for the opening game at Twickenham.
But Sportsmail understands he has switched his scenario planning by deploying seven forwards and eight backs in team run-throughs.
Ollie Thorley made his debut on the wing in Italy but could feature as a flanker against Georgia
Thorley made his debut on the wing against Italy, but the 24-year-old has been taking part in lineout and scrummaging drills at England’s Lensbury hotel base.
During his time as Japan coach at the 2015 World Cup, Jones named No 8 Hendrik Tui on the wing to combat Georgia’s muscle.
Jones’s approach has been more conservative as England coach — and he would be more likely to test out the hybrid strategy in the second half.
Georgia skipper Merab Sharikadze played against Japan’s nine forwards in 2015 and last night claimed it would not affect their approach.
‘It was quite weird,’ said Sharikadze. ‘Obviously it was some kind of tactic but you don’t notice it that much as an opponent. Maybe you notice it more as the team who has an extra forward on your wing.’
England coach Eddie Jones has deployed seven forwards and eight backs in run-throughs
Meanwhile, Wayne Pivac is not worried he might be the next Welsh coach to go after the departure of assistant Byron Hayward.
The New Zealander has lost five of six Tests since taking over from Warren Gatland and said it was his decision to remove his defence coach — five days before playing Ireland in the Autumn Nations Cup.
‘It’s about building a side capable of winning a World Cup in 2023,’ Pivac said. ‘We’re not entirely happy with the results, so the pressure comes on because we’re humans, very competitive people, and we like to win.
‘But there has been no conversation around my future. ‘Byron and I sat down and discussed things and it was a decision that I took. ‘We felt that we weren’t getting what we wanted from our defence.’