6N: England drop Youngs and Marler for Scotland test

England rugby team huddle during the Six Nations rugby union international match between France and England at the Stade de France stadium, in Saint D...

England rugby team huddle during the Six Nations rugby union international match between France and England at the Stade de France stadium, in Saint D...

LONDON (AP) — England reacted to the upset loss to France by dropping scrumhalf Ben Youngs and prop Joe Marler among five changes to the starting lineup to play Scotland in Six Nations rugby this weekend.

Youngs, the most experienced player in the squad with 96 caps, made way for Willi Heinz on Thursday and was in the reserves.

He was the most high-profile name to be demoted after England fell to France 24-17 last Sunday in Paris.

Marler was left out entirely for the match at Murrayfield on Saturday.

The return of Mako Vunipola following an eye injury was flagged midweek.

George Kruis will partner Maro Itoje in the second row after Charlie Ewels also paid for the below-par effort in Paris.

Lewis Ludlam swapped in for Courtney Lawes on the blindside flank, while Tom Curry was retained at No. 8 despite his mediocre performance out of position.

Jonathan Joseph was the starting center after Manu Tuilagi was ruled out of the trip to Edinburgh with a recurring groin issue, though Tuilagi was expected to be fit for the third round home match against Ireland.

In the reserves, Luke Cowan-Dickie was absent due to his wife going into labor, so Tom Dunn could make his debut as the replacement hooker, as could uncapped Saracens flanker Ben Earl.

Joe Launchbury was recovered from a knee injury to be one of six forwards on the bench.

"We have sought to address the issues from the France game," coach Eddie Jones said.

"Scotland are a dangerous side. They like to play with a lot of width and with a lot of flow and tempo. We want to make sure we dominate the gain line.

"Their win record against England at Murrayfield is substantially higher than their overall record against us, so we have to recognize they are a dangerous beast and we have to be at our best to beat them."

___

England: George Furbank, Jonny May, Jonathan Joseph, Owen Farrell (captain), Elliot Daly, George Ford, Willi Heinz; Tom Curry, Sam Underhill, Lewis Ludlam, George Kruis, Maro Itoje, Kyle Sinckler, Jamie George, Mako Vunipola. Reserves: Tom Dunn, Ellis Genge, Will Stuart, Joe Launchbury, Courtney Lawes, Ben Earl, Ben Youngs, Ollie Devoto.

___

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports