England team to face Italy – Guinness Six Nations 2019
Head coach Eddie Jones has revealed his England team to face Italy at Twickenham on Saturday.
There are five changes to the starting XV that played Wales a fortnight ago. Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby) starts on the right wing for his third cap while Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors) comes in at inside centre with Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers) moving to outside centre.
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Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers) starts at loose head prop with Ben Moon (Exeter Chiefs) shifting to the bench. Joe Launchbury (Wasps) is named in the second row following the injury of Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints) in Cardiff. Brad Shields (Wasps) will start at blindside flanker with Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons) named as a finisher.
Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers) and Nathan Hughes (Wasps) are both named as finishers having not been involved in England’s previous match against Wales.
“We have had a good preparation ahead of Italy with a great week in Oxford where we competed against Georgia for two days,” said Jones.
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Players have had a good break and have come back into camp reenergised and refocused for what is an important game for us.”
He added: “Italy is a bit of an unknown quantity but when Conor allows them to play rugby they play well. They have played terrific games in the Six Nations. They are fitter, physically stay in the contest a lot longer and they are quite unpredictable in the way they attack.
“We expect Italy to throw the ball around a bit so we are going to have to defend very well against their unpredictability and when we have got the ball, we have to use it wisely.”
On returning to Twickenham, Jones said: “We are looking forward to getting back to Twickenham. We haven’t played there since the France game so it will be nice to play in front of our home crowd.”
England team to face Italy
15 Elliot Daly (Wasps, 28 caps), 14 Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby, 3 caps), 13 Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 30 caps), 12 Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors 16 caps), 11 Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 43 caps), 10 Owen Farrell (Saracens, 68 caps) (captain), 9 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 83 caps), 1 Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 7 caps) , 2 Jamie George (Saracens, 35 caps), 3 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 20 caps), 4 Joe Launchbury (Wasps, 56 caps), 5 George Kruis (Saracens, 30 caps), 6 Brad Shields (Wasps, 6 caps), 7 Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 8 caps), 8 Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 39 caps)
Finishers (203 caps)
16 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 9 caps), 17 Ben Moon (Exeter Chiefs, 6 caps), 18 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 83 caps), 19 Nathan Hughes (Wasps, 20 caps), 20 Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons, 11 caps), 21 Dan Robson (Wasps, 1 cap), 22 George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 53 caps), 23 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 20 caps)