Six Nations: England vs Italy on Sunday, March 10th

10/03/2013 no comments »
Six Nations: England vs Italy on Sunday, March 10th

England will face Italy at Twickenham on Sunday, March 10th at 3pm in there quest to win the Grand Slam this year.

England is currently leading the table with 3 wins and 6 points and are equal with Wales. England needs to win against the Italians to secure an advantage for the showdown against Wales next week. A win against Italy on Sunday, whom they have never lost to in 18 times of meeting each other, will ensure they have the best chance possible of winning the Six Nations Championship.

In the last 3 meeting, England only lost one against Italy in 2010. England has been in exceptional form this Six Nations campaign and beat Scotland (38-18), Ireland (6-12) and France (23-13). England is the clear favourite to win against Italy as they have won 7 out of the last 8 Six Nation matches. Italy only beat France in the opening week of the Six Nations, but lost the other 2 matches.

England are currently top of the table with 6 points, ahead of Wales on just points difference but with a game in hand against Italy on Sunday. An England victory will put them on 8 points meaning that points difference will play a huge role when they play Wales next week in the deciding match. Taking this into account, Stuart Lancaster will no doubt pump this into his players, firstly ensuring England pick up the 2 points, but secondly scoring as many points past Italy as possible, making it an even tougher task for Wales to overcome next week.

Making the headlines in terms of the team selection is Vunipola joining the front row in the place of Joe Marler. The Saracens prop, Vunipola, gives England that explosive power in clearing the ruck ball but may let the side down with his lack of fitness the final quarter of the game. With Owen Farrell injured, Toby Flood has the chance to take centre stage and control the game for England. Flood has not made the starting line up in the previous three games and has come off the bench to close out the match. The three other changes from Stuart Lancaster includes Tom Youngs taking over at hooker from Dylan Hartley, Wasps flanker James Haskell returns on the blindside in place of Courtney Lawes and finally Danny Care gets his chance at scrum-half in place of Ben Youngs. Italy also make a flurry of changes, most notably the return of captain Sergio Parisse, as the visitors attempt to recreate the form they found themselves in on the opening weekend.

 Line-Up

England: 15-Alex Goode; 14-Chris Ashton, 13- Manusamoa Tuilagi, 12-Brad Barritt, 11-Mike Brown; 10-Toby Flood, 9-Danny Care; 1-Mako Vunipola, 2-Tom Youngs, 3-Dan Cole, 4-Joe Launchbury, 5-Geoff Parling, 6-James Haskell, 7-Chris Robshaw, 8-Tom Wood

Replacements: 16-Dylan Hartley, 17-David Wilson, 18-Joe Marler, 19-Courtney Lawes, 20-Tom Croft, 21-Ben Youngs, 22-Freddie Burns, 23-Billy Twelvetrees

Italy: 15-Andrea Masi; 14-Giovanbattista Venditti, 13-Gonzalo Canale, 12-Gonzalo Garcia, 11-Luke McLean; 10-Luciano Orquera, 9-Edoardo Gori; 1-Alberto De Marchi, 2-Leonardo Ghiraldini, 3-Martin Castrogiovanni, 4-Quintin Geldenhuys, 5-Joshua Furno, 6-Alessandro Zanni, 7-Robert Barbieri, 8-Sergio Parisse

Replacements: 16-Davide Giazzon, 17-Andrea Lo Cicero, 18-Lorenzo Cittadini, 19-Antonio Pavanello, 20-Francesco Minto, 21-Simone Favaro, 22-Tobias Botes, 23-Tommaso Benvenuti

 

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