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England make 7 changes for Italian job, hand lock Jonny Hill a debut start

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Alex Davidson/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

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Eddie Jones has made seven changes to the England XV for Saturday’s Six Nations final in Rome against Italy. England clinched the Triple Crown with their 33-30 win over Wales at Twickenham and now travel looking to win the Six Nations title for the first time since 2017.


There are three changes in the backline from the win over the Welsh, George Furbank replacing the injured Elliot Daly, Jonathan Joseph coming in for the injured Manu Tuilagi while Henry Slade starts at No12 with Owen Farrell switching to out-half in the absence of another injured player, George Ford.

In the pack, Mako Vunipola is in at loosehead for Joe Marler, Jonny Hill makes a debut start after George Kruis called time in his Test career while in the back row Sam Underhill and Billy Vunipola come in for Mark Wilson and Courtney Lawes with Tom Curry, who started at No8 against the Welsh, switch to blindside.

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England’s Eddie Jones on his autumn squad pick
Video Spacer
England’s Eddie Jones on his autumn squad pick

Ben Youngs is set to win his 100th cap at scrum-half – becoming the second most capped England men’s player of all time after Jason Leonard (114 caps). Youngs made his senior team debut against Scotland in March 2010, where he came on as a substitute in the Calcutta Cup.

There is also a milestone for hooker Jamie George, who will make his 50th appearance for England this weekend.

Uncapped trio Tom Dunn, Ollie Lawrence and Ollie Thorley are named as finishers, alongside scrum-half Dan Robson. Props Ellis Genge and Will Stuart also join the bench with Charlie Ewels and Ben Earl.


Jones said: “We have trained with good intensity this week and the squad are excited by the challenge of performing at our best against Italy. The team have prepared well and are looking forward to putting on an England shirt and showing what they can do.

“We will also celebrate two major achievements in Ben Youngs and Jamie George’s cap milestones. It’s testimony to their skill, hard work and love of playing for England, and there is more to come from both of them.”

ENGLAND (vs Italy, Saturday)
15. George Furbank (Northampton Saints, 2 caps)
14. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 43 caps)
13. Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby, 50 caps)
12. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 29 caps)
11. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 56 caps)
10. Owen Farrell (Saracens, 83 caps)
9. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 99 caps)
1. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 59 caps)
2. Jamie George (Saracens, 49 caps)
3. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 35 caps)
4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 38 caps)
5. Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, uncapped)
6. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 23 caps)
7. Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 18 caps)
8. Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 51 caps)

16. Tom Dunn, (Bath Rugby, uncapped)
17. Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 18 caps)
18. Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 3 caps)
19. Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 15 caps)
20. Ben Earl (Bristol Bears, 3 caps)
21. Dan Robson (Wasps, 2 caps)
22. Ollie Lawrence (Worcester Warriors, uncapped)
23. Ollie Thorley (Gloucester Rugby, uncapped)



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