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England thrash Italy to get Six Nations campaign up and running

England thrash Italy to get Six Nations campaign up and running

Mattia Bellini scored a second Italy try, but Conor O'Shea's men were unable to avoid a 13th consecutive Six Nations defeat, George Ford, Simmonds and Jack Nowell adding late tries as Italy exhausted. "We want a team that's adaptable".

Youngs suffered ligament damage nine minutes into a 46-15 NatWest 6 Nations victory over Italy at the Stadio Olimpico and had to be driven from the pitch on the medical cart.

"He's an entertainer, he's experienced, he's a class player", Dylan Hartley, the England captain who will win his 90th cap tomorrow, said of Te'o, a fellow native of New Zealand. "The physical side of that, the intensity - he's in the thick of it". They really ran out of steam in the last 15 and England put them under huge pressure.

"He's a completely humble boy who just gets on with it". England appeared to be found wanting past year when Italy unleashed their no-ruck tactic labelled "The Fox".

England have won all 23 of their previous meetings with Italy, averaging 40 points a game, though they had something of a scare at Twickenham a year ago when they struggled to deal with the Italians' surprise "no ruck" tactics before coming from behind at halftime to emerge 36-15 winners. And when they get the ball they'll see this white line of jerseys coming at them. "So he wants to go fox-hunting this week".

O'Shea added: "We can see where we're building towards in the future".

"We want line speed in our defence, and to punch holes in attack".

Eddie Jones had urged his players to set the tone for their campaign by putting the Azzurri to the sword and they responded, but there will be plenty to pick apart, not least the way they were exposed out wide when leaking two tries. "It is incredible how good Eddie and the strength and conditioning staff are at pushing the boundaries and challenging us as players". 23 per cent possession, 26 per cent territory in the opponents half, and while things got better in the second half, they couldn't have got much worse.

Sergio Parisse will be hoping to keep England quiet this weekend.

Simmons' presence does mean that England lose some of the ball carrying power that Vunipola and Hughes bring, but Borthwick believes that England can adapt the way they play their forwards game to utilise other carriers such as Mako Vunipola, Courtney Lawes and the hulking Joe Launchbury, who will no doubt get through another workload that defies belief.

England wasted no time in stamping their authority on the contest, Ben Te'o, Farrell, Ford and Jonny May involved in a slick move which was rounded off by Watson in the corner inside three minutes.

Brown has recuperated from an eye dissension, while Jack Nowell is on the seat in the wake of recouping from his own lower leg damage.

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