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SIX NATIONS RUGBY

England aim to ransack Rome

With only one Six Nations title since 2003, England should find themselves in pole position if they heed Eddie Jones' words and give Italy "a good hiding."

England aim to ransack Rome
Paul Childs REUTERS

With only one Six Nations title since 2003, England should find themselves in pole position if they heed Eddie Jones' words and give Italy "a good hiding" on Sunday. Jones made a winning start as England coach when his side produced an effective, if unspectacular, display to defeat Scotland 15-9 at Murrayfield last weekend.

England will expect to beat Italy in Rome with Jones set to make some changes with the Australian wanting more fleet-footed forwards to take the game to the Azzurri."We'll pick the best 23 for Italy, so we could conceivably pick a faster pack," Jones said when asked whether he would reshuffle a team who gave away several breakdown penalties in the first half against Scotland.

Forwards Mako Vunipola and Courtney Lawes, along with scrumhalf Ben Youngs, are likely to replace Joe Marler, Joe Launchbury and Danny Care when Jones names his team on Friday. "We want to go to Rome and smack Italy," said Jones.

France make six changes for Ireland game

France manager Guy Noves has made six changes for Saturday's Six Nations match at home to Ireland as Les Bleus look to tighten up their defence after scraping a win over Italy in their tournament opener.

Props Jefferson Poirot and Uini Atonio, lock Alexandre Flanquart, flanker Yacouba Camara, centre Maxime Mermoz and wing Teddy Thomas come in for Eddy Ben Arous, Rabah Slimani, Paul Jedrasiak, Louis Picamoles, Gael Fickou and Hugo Bonneval.

Biggar in unchanged Wales team for Scotland

Fly-half Dan Biggar was on Thursday named in an unchanged Wales team for Saturday's Six Nations clash with Scotland in Cardiff after overcoming an ankle injury.

A sprained ankle forced Biggar to hobble off during the first half of last weekend's 16-16 draw with Ireland in Dublin, which saw Rhys Priestland take his place.

But the Ospreys number 10 is fit enough to retain his place in Warren Gatland's starting XV, with the fit-again Gareth Anscombe replacing Alex Cuthbert among the replacements in the only change to the match squad.

"It's great to be able to name an unchanged side, with Dan coming through, fit and ready to play," head coach Gatland said in a Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) press release.

Wales have beaten Scotland in eight successive Tests since Gatland took charge in 2008 and the Scots have not won in the Welsh capital since a 27-22 victory in 2002.