Minute-by-minute updates from Six Nations clash in Rome

Posted February 06, 2018

Head coach Eddie Jones will also be anxious about the fitness of Ben Young, who looks to have picked up a serious injury early in the first-half.

Looked a little out of sorts after time out because of injury.

But with their concluding game of the tournament at Twickenham - where England have not lost a home Test under Jones - Ireland coach Joe Schmidt said: "Bookies don't make money by being wrong".

The 23-year-old will get better as the tournament progresses and he is likely to play a crucial role in his side's ambitions of winning a third consecutive Six Nations championship.

At the same time he must now brace himself for the possibility of spending the rest of the Championship without Ben Youngs, whose nasty-looking knee injury clouded an otherwise lovely sunny afternoon in the Eternal City.

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Such is the strength and depth of England's squad, Jones has had a number of selection dilemmas to ponder ahead of the trip to Rome.

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?

However, three second-half tries from Ben White, Tom Parton and Ben Loader as well as two conversions from Grayson on his first start stretched the lead and although Italy were awarded a late penalty try England sealed the win.

'He's fitted into the team well.

"I was really pleased with the effort".

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England hit back five minutes later when Farrell played a one-two with No10 Ford and converted his own score to spark the Stadio Olimpico's first rendition of the afternoon of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.

They made it look hard at times but it's a case of job done for England as they escape the often tricky opening match against Italy with a bonus-point win on a final scoreline of 15-46.

Te'o will accomplice Owen Farrell in the midfield, with Ben Youngs and George Ford at half-back and Jonny May, Anthony Watson and Mike Brown in the back three. "But our lads held out and we built and built", Farrell said.

England's training leading into Sunday's opener against Italy is said to have been intense, both during their time in Portugal last week and more recently at their Pennyhill Park base in Bagshot.

The champions exploded out of the blocks by crossing twice through Anthony Watson inside the opening 10 minutes, but the overwhelming win their early onslaught appeared to signpost only materialised in the closing stages.

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Italy coach Conor O'Shea was encouraged by his team's performance. "We played against a great side, No 2 in world, and we caused them a lot of problems with the ball".