England V Italy
We all want Italy to win a game. Be honest, you’re feeling sorry for them now, because they’ve put in such a good shift which has availed to nothing this tournament once again despite getting better and better. But Eddie’s men know they can still bag the title if Wales slip up and they get the bonus point victory, which I won’t be surprised to see with their selection of backs. Joe Cokanasiga and Ben Te’o join the party, and that super heavyweight addition is something Italy will have a nightmare containing. The brutish nature of England’s side will wear and tear, so if Italy come up with a cunning plan to prevent that then I absolutely have to see it because Conor O’Shea will have to turn water to wine and then some.
The thought of Wales slipping up seems absurd given Scotland’s form, but realistically, it’s England with the easier run of fixtures, since they host the Scots on the 16th and Wales have to deal with a hurting Ireland. You’d put your money on England to win if both sides were level on points, but we all know that the showdown in Cardiff has done it’s damage to the rose and the 2016 Grand Slam winners will need a miracle to overtake Wales. The importance on bonus points has never been more crucial, hence the insanely good choice of backs, and if they take a look back to three weeks ago against France, they’ll know how quickly they can get on the front foot and take control of a game. Give Jonny May a bit of space, and Italy will concede. Allow Kyle Sinckler to thunder through, and someone’s going home bandaged up.
It’s all well and good for Italy fans to feel confident with Sergio Parisse back in the mix, but England are out for blood and then some, and overcoming a side who are being made to work for their Grand Slam is never going to be easy. I won’t be shocked if my prediction is smashed to bits and England hit 30 plus.
Predicted result: England by 15