Spirited Italy Eventually Outclassed By England In Six Nations Opener

Feb 05, 2018, 00:46
Spirited Italy Eventually Outclassed By England In Six Nations Opener

Jones said: "We've had two really good training weeks and we feel this is the 23 that can start the tournament with a bang".

England get their campaign for a third-straight Six Nations crown underway against wooden spoon favourites Italy. Their scrum was very impressive and they performed in the lineout. "The tournament (is) only going to get better". "It is terrible and hard at the time but it is enjoyable because you know it is making you better as a team and a player". 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. This is an opportunity on Sunday to ratchet the gears up. With wins in all 23 meetings, England have dominated their opponents and 21 points has been the lowest margin of victory in the last four clashes. I'm impressed by [Tomasso] Castello and the young half-back [Marcello] Violi.

"He's come on in leaps and bounds since the start of the season", insisted Brunel, whose side face Ireland in Paris on Saturday.

"Everyone in Europe is fitter". Shirts may not be earned with even a comprehensive victory, but they can certainly be lost with an unconvincing performance. Italy are one of those countries.

Rugby Union is not so strong at Test level that it can afford a sustained decline among its traditionally major nations and a French revival would be a welcome boost to the global game a year out from the 2019 World Cup in Japan. And we'll see. Because sport is sport and it's 15 against 15 and things can happen within matches. "We've prepared well for that".

Yet, to make room for Te'o, Jones has chose to omit one of those reliable regulars in the shape of Jonathan Joseph.

The hosts looked resurgent, but Rome was silenced by a superb try from England; Farrell broke through a gap and flipped the ball back inside to George Ford who put the game beyond Italy.

"We want to get our set piece more consistent and our defence more ruthless". He did a lot of work by himself which has been well publicised. "He has some real ability and has a great attitude to go with it".

When asked about his selection of the outside centre, Jones said: "Ben will add a different dimension at 13 for us".

"I want him to hit the line hard, that's what he's good at. When they [Italy] get the ball they will see this white line of jerseys coming at them, and there's nowhere to go".

Simon Mail previews England's opening Six Nations game in Italy and expects the defending champions to have few problems getting off to a winning start.

Backrow Simmonds only made his debut for England in November against Argentina, and made his first start against Samoa the same month.

Despite being ineligible for the game in Rome, as he serves a ban for a unsafe tackle on Jamie Roberts, the 75-cap flanker trained with Jones' squad at their Surrey base this week.

"I've dug in and I've given everything I can for these last couple years", Lawes said.