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Lawes hungry for Six Nations after bulking up on McDonald's

06 February, 2018, 14:31 | Author: Rachael Silva
  • England squad for Nat West 6 Nations opener against Italy

For several of England's players, Friday's game marked their debut with the U20s with Toby Trinder, Worcester Warriors lock James Scott, Sam Moore, Tom Willis, Fraser Dingwall, White and Loader all winning their first caps.

Shortly after, Youngs went down with what looked like a nasty knee injury after his left leg appeared to get trapped in the ruck.

England made the flawless start to the defence of their Six Nations crown, scoring two early tries through Anthony Watson.

England's 46-15 triumph was marred by the first-half injury sustained by Youngs which prompted a lengthy stoppage before he was taken off on a stretcher.

With flyhalf Ford again involved in a loop move, and May once more cutting across, Watson sprinted clear and, with little room to play with, athletically grounded the ball despite opposing wing Tommaso Benvenuti's attempt to illegally shove him into touch.

The match market is a non starter with England priced up at [1.06] and the only question seems to be how much will the margin of victory be?

Sam Underhill came on for his tournament debut as England lost a lineout on Italy's 5m line missing out on a chance to extend their lead however, a minute late Farrell and Ford linked up, and having hit a fine line through the home defence, the Leicester fly-half scored a fifth try.

Italy have finished bottom of the Six Nations for the last two seasons without picking up a single point. "We always knew it was going to be a tough game, they played exceptionally well and full credit to Italy ... it was a good tough game of rugby and we ran away with it in the end".

Mattia Bellini went over for an unconverted try to pull Italy within 12 points with 20 minutes remaining, yet it only sparked a final-quarter onslaught from England.

Two early tries from Anthony Watson set Eddie Jones' men on their way, Owen Farrell adding another after Tommaso Benvenuti's inspired try had narrowed the gap.

"We've got a fantastic squad that have all prepared really well", said Jones.

As good as England were going forward, problems were exposed in defence.

This is no surprise as the pressure on the Italians has eventually told and England have opened them up as they exhausted during the latter stages.

Meanwhile France have turned to a new coach in Jacques Brunel, the former Italy boss, in a bid to lift them out of a prolonged slump.

Italy coach Conor O'Shea was encouraged by his team's performance. The Azzurri will hope to have their record-appearance holder fit for Saturday's match against Ireland in Dublin.



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