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Sunday 14th February 14:00 GMT


The second round of the 2016 6-Nations comes to a close on Sunday, when Italy host England at the Olympic Stadium in Rome. England made a winning start to the season last weekend, claiming a 15-9 success at Murrayfield against the toothless Scots. While the win was more comfortable than the score might suggest, England will have been disappointed that they didn't manage to score more than the tries that they did.

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Italy produced a performance that shocked most pundits last weekend in Paris, where they fell to a heart breaking 21-23 defeat. Given their turgid showing at the World Cup in the Autumn, which included a 10-32 loss to the French at Twickenham, the Italians played way beyond expectations. The two sides have met on 21 occasions, 12 times in the Six Nations, with England winning on every occasion.

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New England coach, Eddie Jones, has made three changes to his run on XV for Sunday's clash. However, he has once more declined to make any radical alterations, bringing in tried and tested internationals in Courtney Lawes to the second row, and Mako Vunipola at loose head prop. While scrum-half Ben Youngs replaces Harlequins Danny Care. However, Jones does look set to give the young Saracens tyro, Maro Itoje, a full international debut. Having named the ex-U20s captain on the bench.

Posted: 15th March 2014


England head coach, Stuart Lancaster, has made one change to the match day 23, for the vital Six Nations game against Italy, in Rome this Saturday. Despite last weekend’s resounding victory over Wales at Twickenham, Lancaster has drafted Leicester centre, Manu Tuilagi into the match day squad, despite his only having played 70 minutes rugby since returning to fitness, following a torn pectoral muscle, that had kept him out of action for six months.

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The 22 year old Tuilagi will start on the bench, replacing Saracens’ Andy Goode. It is highly unlikely that the one man wrecking crew will remain unused, and when he enters the fray, it will be his first international appearance for England, since last season’s crushing defeat to Wales in Cardiff.

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If England, who has never lost a full international to Italy, records the expected victory, then they will have to wait until Saturday evening to find out if they have won the 6-nations championship. Because of the current points difference, an Irish win in Paris will almost certainly clinch the title for them, whatever the outcome in Rome, while a French win, might just allow England to come up on the blindside and take the title.

Tags: Italy, Olympic Stadium, Six Nations, England, Stuart Lancaster, Twickenham, Manu Tuilagi, Andy Goode
Posted: 14th February 2016

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