England vs Italy LIVE: Owen Farrell starts ahead of Marcus Smith as Steve Borthwick looks to earn his first win as the hosts’ head coach in Six Nations clash at Twickenham following opening-day defeat against Scotland
Follow Sportsmail’s live blog for the Six Nations clash between England and Italy, with coverage from MAX MATHEWS.
Italy head coach Kieran Crowley: ‘I think they will be a lot more direct and unified.
‘When a new coach comes in it takes a little bit of time. But they’ve had three weeks now so I expect that defence will be a lot more solid.
‘They’ll come at us direct and try to exert themselves on us from a physical presence point of view. So we have to beat that and attempt to be accurate in what we do and put the pressure back on them.’
England head coach Steve Borthwick: ‘We are at the start of what is a completely new cycle. The implementation of new systems does take time.
‘I have selected a team that I believe is best placed to meet the specific challenges that Italy will bring. It is a selection of players whose form, individual strengths and combined qualities suit the way we want to play against Italy.’
England have won all 29 matches against Italy in their history, and last year won 33-0 in Rome. So history is on England’s side.
BUT – and it’s a big but – Italy are not the sacrificial lambs of previous tournaments. They pushed holders France all the way last week, eventually losing 29-24, while England lost their first match under new boss Steve Borthwick against Scotland.
They are in front of their home crowd – but there are no guarantees today.
In the house!
𝐈𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐬𝐞 🌹 #ENGvITA | #GuinnessSixNations pic.twitter.com/82F2cVO7wX
Edoardo Padovani is in for Pierre Bruno, who drops to the bench, in the back three, while prop Marco Riccioni of Saracens replaces Simone Ferrari at prop.
Star fly-half Paolo Garbisi is still injured, so Tommy Allan continues at 10, with a 6-2 split of forwards and backs on the bench for Kieran Crowley’s side.
The big news is Owen Farrell moving from 12 to 10, with Marcus Smith dropping to the bench and Ollie Lawrence named at inside centre. Henry Slade replaces Joe Marchant at 13 too.
Flanker Jack Willis comes in for Ben Curry at 7 after the flanker made an error to allow Scotland’s Ben White to score last week.
On the bench, scrum-half Alex Mitchell replaces veteran Ben Youngs and exciting young talent Henry Arundell is in for Anthony Watson as cover for the outside backs. Would love to see him do well today!
TEAM NEWS: Italy
Il Capo Allenatore Kieran #Crowley annuncia la formazione per il 2° match del @SixNationsRugby ➡️ https://t.co/nkVvMzqpa9
📍 Twickenham Stadium – Londra
🏉 Domenica 12/02, kick off h 16 (ITA)
📺 @SkySport ▪️ @NOWTV ▪️ @tv8 #rugbypassioneitaliana pic.twitter.com/Uqw2lpXhbr
TEAM NEWS: England
A reminder of your England 𝐒𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐗𝐕 🌹#ENGvITA | #GuinnessSixNations
It’s getting underway at Twickenham Stadium in London, the ‘Home of Rugby’ as English fans call it, kicking off at 3pm UK time.
Let’s remind ourselves of the teams…
Hello and Buon Giorno – today Sportsmail is covering this afternoon’s Six Nations clash at Twickenham between England and Italy.
Exciting game in prospect…
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