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Topsy Ojo: Jonathan Joseph can show why he’s a key man against Ireland as Ollie Lawrence faces acid test

When Jonathan Joseph first came into the England team, we all knew about his talent and he was very much in the mould of Jeremy Guscott.

JJ was an outside centre who had that break, that speed and acceleration, but in the last 18 months or so – particularly when Manu Tuilagi was fit – he hasn’t been in the conversation as much.

But he has got 50 England caps, and you don’t pick those up easily, so maybe this is the time for JJ to re-establish himself as one of Eddie Jones’ first names on the teamsheet.

It is just a question of which number is on his back. On Saturday, he will be on the wing again and I like how he works with the centres when he’s out there.

JJ has an understanding of how a 13 works, so he can use that to his advantage when he is playing wing. He knows where the holes will appear and has the ability to exploit them.

<img src="https://static.standard.co.uk/2020/11/20/08/newFile-7.jpg?width=2955" alt="<p>Jonathan Joseph has shaken off a back injury and starts for England on the wing against Ireland

Whether he’s in the 13 or 14 shirt, JJ has got the understanding of both positions to just go out and deliver now.

Ireland will be a step up for England and having George Ford back on the bench gives them options. He is more of a natural 10 than Owen Farrell is, so when he slots in George just sees things a little differently.

When Farrell and Ford are on the pitch together they seem to take the pressure off each other, which brings a nice balance to the attack.

At the moment it is all on Owen’s shoulders, which is fine, but if England are looking to change the game against Ireland, then George can do that off the bench. It’s a huge boost having him back.

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