Eddie Jones is a 'fantastic judge' of novices, says Steve Borthwick

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Eddie Jones is a "fantastic judge" of when to blood Test match novices and will let Elliot Daly loose at exactly the right time, according to Steve Borthwick.

Wasps centre Daly could make his long-awaited England debut in Saturday's RBS Six Nations clash with Ireland at Twickenham, the 23-year-old poised to offer cover from the replacements' bench.

Jones downplayed Daly's status as "a very good player with potential" in the aftermath of England's 40-9 victory over Italy on February 14, but has since drafted in the versatile midfielder after Ollie Devoto suffered concussion.

Assistant coach Borthwick worked under Jones with Japan during the autumn's World Cup, and believes England's new boss has adopted the right strategy by holding Daly back so far during this Six Nations tournament.

"I think Eddie, with more than 20 years' coaching experience at the top level, he'll have seen young players come through and he's a fantastic judge of when is the right time to start introducing them," said Borthwick.

"We want our young players to come in, perform and have long, successful careers with England."

Daly's pedigree has seen him glide through England's age-group ranks before impressing consistently with Wasps in the last few seasons.

The goal-kicking flyer can operate at centre, wing or full-back, and should offer England a host of options off the bench against Ireland on Saturday.

Former England captain Borthwick admitted he had been impressed with the Wasps star's tenacity in training.

"Firstly Elliot's been playing well, I think he's come into this environment, and the times he's been in he's incredibly competitive," said Borthwick.

"He wants to win, wants to do exceptionally well and he trains really hard.

"His versatility in terms of positions helps, his left foot helps, a left-foot kicker is always a bonus.

"He's a guy who is young, got a lot to work on but has come in with a fantastic attitude to try to improve.

"Well I think that for all those players it's an ongoing assessment and an ongoing development process."

Saracens lock Maro Itoje has leapfrogged Courtney Lawes in England's 23-man matchday squad, but Borthwick insisted that merely represents strength in depth at second row rather than a changing of the guard.

"I think it's a competitve position right now, and that's a good thing," said Borthwick.

"We've got a mixture of players there with different levels of experience.

"That's a really good thing for the squad to make that a competitive area.

"With that it spurs the intensity of training.

"Eddie will finalise the selections for the squad and team that we think can win the game this weekend."

Borthwick also insisted England must not fixate on Ireland's lengthy injury list or the fact scrum-half Conor Murray admitted Joe Schmidt's men harbour a "fear factor" in playing at Twickenham.

Ireland are missing the retired Paul O'Connell and the injured Iain Henderson, Dan Tuohy and Mike McCarthy in the second row, but Borthwick still expects a combative tight-five battle.

"They do have some injuries but they also have good depth, Devin Toner is very experienced, and a very good operator at this level, so he's a threat for us," said Borthwick.

"So we need to perform really well, it doesn't matter who they select, they will have a really good pack.

"We've got to really concentrate hard on our preparation, which we have done, because we know we have to play well this week.

"Ireland's record at Twickenham, it's nothing we've spoken about at all, without question we want to start the game well.

"That's a constant theme. We want to start well, as we have done in the last two games.

"But how they feel coming to Twickenham, that's not something we've discussed and not something that's a factor for us really."