Italy have never beaten England and as such the hosts are clear favourites. However, Italy are an improving outfit and it would be no shock to see them ask more questions of this England side at Twickenham than they have done before.
History is certainly not on the Italians’ side, though. These two teams have faced off 29 times with England winning every one of those encounters. What’s more, the total points scored by both teams in the 16 matches played between them at Twickenham stands at 720 for England compared to 190 for Italy.
Steve Borthwick will say all the right things in the build-up but privately knows this is a must-win game, even this early in his tenure as England head coach, and the sort of match his side should be winning by a commanding margin if they have serious ambitions of a Six Nations title, especially after their opening-game loss against Scotland.
The most points Italy have mustered at Twickenham is 23 way back in 2001. They surely have to do better than that to have any chance of causing an upset.
When and where is England v Italy?
This round-two match takes place on Sunday, February 12, at Twickenham, with kick-off 3pm (GMT).
The other matches on the second weekend of the Championship are Ireland v France at 2.15pm on Saturday and Scotland v Wales at 4.45pm, also on Saturday.
What TV channel is England v Italy on?
The match will be broadcast on ITV.
Who is in England’s reduced 29-man squad?
Borthwick will announce his team that will face Italy on Friday afternoon at 3pm, naming his starting XV and replacements from the following squad:
- Ollie Chessum
- Dan Cole
- Alex Dombrandt
- Tom Dunn
- Ben Earl
- Ellis Genge
- Jamie George
- Nick Isiekwe
- Maro Itoje
- Lewis Ludlam
- David Ribbans
- Kyle Sinckler
- Mako Vunipola
- Jack Walker
- Jack Willis
- Henry Arundell
- Owen Farrell
- Tommy Freeman
- Ollie Hassell-Collins
- Ollie Lawrence
- Max Malins
- Joe Marchant
- Alex Mitchell
- Henry Slade
- Fin Smith
- Marcus Smith
- Freddie Steward
- Manu Tuilagi
- Jack van Poortvliet
What does Italy’s starting XV look like?
What is the latest team news?
England have dropped their most capped men’s player for Sunday’s clash with Italy after Ben Youngs was left out of a reduced training squad.
Youngs, 33, produced a disappointing performance off the bench in the Calcutta Cup defeat by Scotland that opened the Guinness Six Nations and has paid the price by losing his place to Alex Mitchell in the 29-man group that will step up preparations for the match with Italy.
Youngs is the only member of the starting XV to be omitted by head coach Steve Borthwick with his spot taken by Jack Willis, pointing to a recall for the Toulouse openside.
Also missing is Anthony Watson, who played 15 minutes as a replacement against Scotland with Henry Arundell taking his place as the London Irish try-scoring sensation prepares to be make his comeback after missing the autumn because of an ankle issue.
Who is the referee?
- Referee: James Doleman (NZR)
- Assistant Referee 1: Mathieu Raynal (FFR)
- Assistant Referee 2: Tual Trainini (FFR)
- TMO: Eric Gauzins (FFR)
What happened in this fixture in 2022?
Italy failed to score a point against England in an error-strewn 33-0 defeat at Stadio Olimpico. Read Telegraph Sport’s full coverage of the match here.
What are the latest odds?
- England: 1/10
- Draw: 55/1
- Italy: 9/1
Odds correct as of February 10
What is our prediction?
A first win for Borthwick’s side, with a big step forward in performance and a comfortable victory, despite Italy’s progress.
Predicted score: England 32 Italy 13