Home International Rugby Test Preview – England v Italy

Test Preview – England v Italy

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England will take on Italy at St James’ Park in Newcastle on Friday night.

With the time running out for coaches to get all done before the World Cup we see that they do a lot of experimental teams as they try and find their best combinations.

England coach Eddie Jones and Italian coach Conor O’Shea have made plenty of changes to their sides for the test match on Friday.

This mix and match selection from Jones see Joe Marchant coming in the midfield with Piers Francis.

Owen Farrell will captain the side from the number ten jumper.

Jones have also selected debut Ruaridh McConnochie on the right wing with Watson at fullback.

In the front row we see Dan Cole alongside Jamie George and Joe Marler.

In the second row Jones went for Launcbury and Lawes with Wilson, Curry and Vunipola as his loose forward combination.

Even though all the changes this is still a very strong England side which should not have much problems putting away the Italians.

O’Shea have picked Dean Budd to captain his side for this test from the second row this weekend.

The coach made 11 changes to the side to give all his players a run before the World Cup starts later this month in Japan.

This is a very inexperience side that will face the English.

Sisi will partner Budd in the second row with Tuivaiti and Negri in the back-row.

Braam Steyn retained his place as openside flanker for this test.

In the back Bellini and Hayward are the only two players that kept their places from the French test match.

That gives Braley his first start for Italy.

The test match will be live on SuperSport on Friday at 20:35.

Predictions: England should take this one by 15+ points.

Teams:

England: 15 Anthony Watson, 14 Ruaridh McConnochie, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Piers Francis, 11 Jonny May, 10 Owen Farrell (c) 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Mark Wilson, 6 Tom Curry, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Jamie George, 1 Joe Marler

Replacements: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Charlie Ewels, 20 Matt Kvesic, 21 Willi Heinz, 22 George Ford, 23 Joe Cokanasiga

Italy: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Mattia Bellini, 13 Giulio Bisegni, 12 Tommaso Benvenuti, 11 Edoardo Padovani, 10 Carlo Canna, 9 Callum Braley, 8 Jimmy Tuivaiti, 7 Abraham Steyn, 6 Sebastian Negri, 5 Dean Budd (c), 4 David Sisi, 3 Simone Ferrari, 2 Oliviero Fabiani, 1 Nicola Quaglio

Replacements: 16 Federico Zani, 17 Andrea Lovotti, 18 Marco Riccioni, 19 Federico Ruzza, 20 Alessandro Zanni, 21 Maxime Mbanda, 22 Guglielmo Palazzani, 23 Tommaso Allan

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