RUCK and Sir Clive Woodward make their Six Nations predictions for round two including Scotland against Wales on Saturday at Murrayfield.
Writing in his column for the Mail Online, the World Cup-winning coach made his predictions for this weekend’s three matches
Read on to see how he Six Nations predictions compares to RUCK writer Oliver Roby.
Six Nations predictions:
ENGLAND vs ITALY
Kick-off: 14:15 GMT
Referee: Mike Adamson (Scotland)
Assistant Referees: Romain Poite (France), Ben Blain (Scotland)
TMO: Joy Neville (Ireland)
England endured an underwhelming start to their Six Nations campaign with a disappointing 11-6 home defeat by Scotland but should have all the tools to bounce back this weekend.
That result was Scotland’s first win on England’s home turf in 38 years and the reigning Six Nations champions have responded by making five changes to their starting 15 to take on Italy on Saturday.
An all-new front row sees Kyle Sinckler and Mako Vunipola come back from suspension and injury, while Exeter’s Luke Cowan-Dickie is preferred to Jamie George at hooker.
Courtney Lawes has been brought in for Mark Wilson in the back row, George Ford comes in at fly-half, while Owen Farrell shifts to centre. Ollie Lawrence drops out of the squad.
England paid for a lack of discipline as they were felled by the Scots but don’t see that defeat as the end of their six Nations title hopes – they bounced back from defeat to France in the opening weekend to win the title in 2020.
In the opposite camp, Italy have failed to win a Six Nations match since 2015 – a 28-game losing streak. There is an undoubted gulf in class between the two teams and England should stroll to success on paper, but they need to be wary as the visitors look to snap that unwanted streak.
Six Nations Prediction – England vs Italy: England by 34 (42-8).
Sir Clive Woodward: “I still believe England will be Six Nations champions but they must win four games while picking up bonus points and a big points difference. Now is the time for England to put in a strong display. I would have been tempted to start with new personnel but Eddie is trusting his favourites.”