England advised not to play Owen Farrell alongside George Ford against Scotland

• Exeter’s Rob Hunter has doubts over Farrell-Ford midfield axis in Six Nations
• Hunter selected pair in 2011 junior World Cup final: ‘I’m not sure it worked’

Eddie Jones has been advised not to pick Owen Farrell alongside George Ford in his starting XV to face Scotland despite concerns over the fitness and form of the other contenders for England’s No12 jersey. The Exeter coach Rob Hunter is unconvinced a Ford-Farrell midfield axis is England’s answer, believing Sam Hill has the credentials to fulfil the role at some point in the Six Nations Championship, although the player himself fears he has played too little recent rugby to make his Calcutta Cup debut.

With Manu Tuilagi set to miss England’s first three Six Nations games at least, Exeter’s Hill and Bath’s similarly uncapped Ollie Devoto are the only specialist 12s in Jones’s squad. Hill, however, is still recovering from ankle ligament damage and, while he hopes to train with England in Bagshot next week, will not return for the Chiefs before next Sunday’s Premiership game against Worcester. Devoto, meanwhile, is not the first-choice in his position at Bath, with Kyle Eastmond to start against Toulon on Saturday.

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