Italy vs England preview, predictions, team news, starting XVs, TV Channel

  • When? Saturday, 31st October                        
  • Kick-off? 16:45
  • Where? Rome, Italy
  • Coverage? Live on ITV and BBC Radio 5 Live from 4pm

Italy vs England preview

Eddie Jones has named his team for England’s key Guinness 2020 Six Nations tie against Italy on Saturday 31 October.

Ben Youngs is set to make his 100th cap for his country, at scrum half while Exeter lock Jonny Hill makes his debut.

Meanwhile, Wasps fullback Matteo Minozzi comes into the Italian XV. He missed last weekend’s encounter against Ireland as he was on club duty with the Midlanders, starting in their 19-13 loss to Exeter Chiefs in the Premiership final.

EDITORS PICKS:

VIEWS FROM THE CAMP

England head coach Eddie Jones: “We’ve trained with good intensity this week and the squad are excited by the challenge of performing at our best against Italy. The team have prepared well and are looking forward to putting on an England shirt and showing what they can do.

“We will also celebrate two major achievements in Ben Youngs and Jamie George’s cap milestones.  It’s testimony to their skill, hard work and love of playing for England, and there is more to come from both of them.”

Italy head coach Franco Smith said: “Physically we are still behind: we have worked very hard, even with deductibles. It means we have to focus on this side and do more.”

What are the Italy v England odds?

  • England: 1/1000
  • Italy: 50/1
  • Draw: 33/1

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What’s our prediction?

England will be expected to win well and will. Italy may be able to hold visitors for the first 50 minutes, but Eddie Jones’ finishers will rip them to shreds in the final third of the match. England by 40

KEY STATS

  • Italy are on a 26-match losing run in the championship, their last win being 22-19 at Murrayfield in February 2015
  • Maro Itoje has made 71 tackles in the tournament – the joint highest figure
  • Jake Polledri has made the most turnovers so far, with six
  • The last England lock before Jonny Hill to make his debut in the Six Nations was Steve Borthwick in 2001

What are the Italy vs England line-ups?

Italy: Matteo Minozzi; Edoardo Padovani, Luca Morisi, Carlo Canna, Mattia Bellini; Paolo Garbisi, Marcello Violi; Danilo Fischetti, Luca Bigi (capt), Giosuè Zilocchi, Marco Lazzaroni, Niccolò Cannone, Sebastian Negri, Abraham Steyn, Jake Polledri.

Replacements: 16 Gianmarco Lucchesi, 17 Simone Ferrari, 18 Pietro Ceccarelli, 19 David Sisi, 20 Johan Meyer, 21 Maxime Mbandà, 22 Guglielmo Palazzina, 23 Federico Mori.

England: George Furbank; Anthony Watson, Jonathan Joseph, Henry Slade, Jonny May; Owen Farrell (capt), Ben Youngs; Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, Jonny Hill, Tom Curry, Sam Underhill, Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: 16 Tom Dunn, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Will Stuart, 19 Charlie Ewels, 20 Ben Earl, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Ollie Lawrence, 23 Ollie Thorley.

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