losangelesnewstoday.com April 26, 2018

Ben Te'o preferred to Jonathan Joseph as England face Italy

06 February 2018, 02:30 | Stacy Ballard

Courtney Lawes says England will take nothing for granted when they face Italy in the Six Nations

Courtney Lawes says England will take nothing for granted when they face Italy in the Six Nations

Looked a little out of sorts after time out because of injury.

Youngs was supposed to be celebrating his 56th start for England that took him past Matt Dawson's record at scrum-half.

England were too easily carved open out wide for two Italy tries but as well as his defence, Jones will also be sweating on the fitness of Ben Youngs.

If England coach Eddie Jones retained any doubts about Sam Simmonds' suitability as an global No. 8 prior to defeating Italy in the Six Nations, his misgivings would have been allayed by the Exeter forward's barnstorming championship debut.

England's 46-15 triumph was marred by the first-half injury sustained by Youngs which prompted a lengthy stoppage before he was taken off on a stretcher. Eddie Jone's men have been impressive in the run-up to the tournament, thrashing Argentina and Samoa in November previous year, and are sure to be full of confidence at the Stadio Olimpico.

The match market is a non starter with England priced up at [1.06] and the only question seems to be how much will the margin of victory be?

Watson crossed for two unconverted tries early on, but Italy recovered to be 17-10 down at the break only for England, who scored seven tries in total, to pull away in the second half.

"He is a humble boy, he's really fitted into the team well and his enthusiasm for ball carrying is going to be important on Sunday". "At the end of the game we played some lovely rugby".

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Benvenuti replied for the hosts with a fantastic try just after the 20-minute mark following a brilliant team move, but England were well in control early on.

Owen Farrell missed the first two conversions but he racked up England's third try - only his sixth try in 54 worldwide matches - and added the extras on that occasion as well as on his next three attempts.

Speaking after the game, Owen Farrell said he was pleased with how his side started their campaign. "Italy were always going to be hard to play".

France lost their opener to England last season, but have not been beaten in their first match of the tournament in consecutive years since 1963-1964. "We played against a great side, No 2 in world, and we caused them a lot of problems with the ball".

"It is good that we built throughout the game, we felt like we were getting better and better", said Farrell.

A minute later Watson had his second try with Ford linking up with Jonny May to sear through midfield before releasing his fellow wing to superbly dive over in the corner.

Two missed conversions from Farrell kept the Azzurri within touching distance and the home side did not back down from head coach Conor O'Shea's insistence that they would attack England.

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