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Guinness Six Nations – England v Italy


Both England and Italy will be looking for their first win in this years Guinness Six Nations on Saturday when they meet at Twickenham.

England went down against Scotland at home and Italy was humiliated by France in Rome last weekend.

Although Italy are looking a much better unit on attack their defensive system is a real worry and against an England side that wants to bounce back this weekend, it may just be another 50+ against the Italians.

England is just too good a side to fail two weekends in a row and especially against a young Italian side, Eddie Jones men will come out firing come Saturday.

A big worry for Franco Smith will be the set pieces. They did not do well against France and this is something which Jones and his coaches would have worked hard this week to correct. I believe we can expect a very physical approach from England pack.

With Ford back at 10 we could also see a bit more from the English backs with both their wings that almost never saw the ball against the Scots.

Italy for me is in for a hiding to nothing come Saturday and it is only a question by how much they can reduce the scoreboard.

Jones brought back Ford, Lawes, Sinckler and Mako Vanipola for this test.

Farrell will move to the midfield to make way for Ford at ten. Ollie Lawrence have been dropped out of the matchday 23.

Luke Cowen-Dickie will start at hooker in place of Jamie George who moves to the bench.

Jones said to the media that he always pick his strongest 23 to try and win the game. The fact that Jones went back to his tries-and-tested combination with Ford and Farrell with Slade joining Farrell in the midfield, show how much this win means to him.

In the pack Lawes replace Wilson at blind-side with Vanipola and Curry retaining their places from last weekend.

Jones also picked six forwards on the bench with Ewels and Willis to make their first appearance this year.

On the Italian side, coach Smith has put some more experience into his side for this weekend clash. He has brought back Carlo Canna in the midfield and Andrea Lovotti in the front row .

Unfortunately for Smith and his team we can only see one winner in this game, and I am afraid it is going to be a high score again.

Prediction: Pick a number but it will be England by plenty


England: Daly; Watson, Slade, Farrell (capt), May; Ford, Youngs; M Vunipola, Cowan-Dickie, Sinckler, Itoje, Hill, Lawes, Curry, B Vunipola.

Replacements: George, Genge, Stuart, Ewels, Earl, Willis, Robson, Malins.

Italy: Trulla; Sperandio, Brex, Canna, Ioane; Garbisi, Varney; Lovotti, Bigi (capt), Riccioni, Lazzaroni, Sisi, Negri, Meyer, Lamaro.

Replacements: Lucchesi, Fischetti, Zilocchi, Cannone, Ruzza, Palazzani, Allan, Mori.

The match is live on SuperSport this Saturday at 16:15

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