SIX NATIONS RUGBY

England make three changes for Six Nations tie against Italy

Following last week’s underwhelming start against Scotland Eddie Jones has made some tweaks to his team ahead of Sunday’s clash against the Azzurri.

England make three changes for Six Nations tie against Italy
Paul Childs REUTERS

England head coach Eddie Jones has made three changes to his team to play Italy in their Six Nations clash in Rome on Sunday.

Lock Courtney Lawes, loose-head prop Mako Vunipola and scrum-half Ben Youngs come in for Joe Launchbury, Joe Marler and Danny Care respectively.

Youngs, 26, who has 53 caps, will link up with Bath's George Ford, pushing Care onto the bench.

Vunipola, 25, was preferred over Marler, with Lawes, 26, taking Launchbury's place.

England beat Scotland 15-9 in their opening clash at Murrayfield last Saturday and next take on Italy in the Stadio Olimpico.

“We've made a few changes to the line-up for Italy”, said Jones.

“I believe this is the strongest 23 to go to Rome and get the performance and result we want.

Mako, Ben and Courtney have been pushing hard for selection during training, but they also fit the game plan we want to implement against Italy.

“Danny, Joe Marler and Joe Launchbury will all have significant roles to play to finish the game”.

Saracens forward Maro Itoje is in line to make his England debut after he was named on the bench, along with Northampton prop Paul Hill.

Italy fell 23-21 in their opener to France in Paris last weekend.

England team (15-1) for Sunday's Six Nations game against Italy at the Stadio Olimpico (1400 GMT):

Mike Brown; Anthony Watson, Jonathan Joseph, Owen Farrell, Jack Nowell, George Ford, Ben Youngs, Billy Vunipola, James Haskell, Chris Robshaw, George Kruis, Courtney Lawes, Dan Cole, Dylan Hartley (capt), Mako Vunipola

Replacements: Jamie George, Joe Marler, Paul Hill, Joe Launchbury, Maro Itoje, Jack Clifford, Danny Care, Alex Goode