Eddie Jones’ England squad to face Italy this Saturday was always going to cause debate after such a poor showing against Scotland.

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The Australian had two options, either make wholesale changes and include in-form players, which seems to be a popular option online, or back his experienced players to gel after a disjointed and listless Calcutta Cup display.

He opted for the latter, and though that has not been entirely well received, it is understandable. By bringing Mako Vunipola, Kyle Sinckler, Courtney Lawes and George Ford to the starting XV for Saturday, he has reverted to the players he trusts most to work the team out of the rut they appear to be in.

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Mark Wilson and Ollie Lawrence are the two starters from last week that have dropped out of the squad completely, and there is a lot of sympathy for the two.

The Worcester Warriors centre appears to be the cruellest victim of Jones’ axe in the eyes of fans, pundits and former players. In a rare dalliance at inside centre the 21-year-old’s game was notoriously quiet, with his only carry of the entire game, for zero metres, coming after 60 minutes.

But in an England team that seem to be hardwired to not pass nor play with any semblance of width, Lawrence can hardly be blamed for this performance. The onus could fall on him to find more action in attack, but the majority of people think the players inside him have let him down on this occasion.

With only three starts to his name so far against Georgia, Ireland and Scotland, Lawrence has only been involved in turgid, defensive or downright deplorable performances; now being dropped is a rough start to a Test career.

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The match against Italy has traditionally been Jones’ chance to shake things up and experiment with new combinations and players, perhaps a better platform to trial Lawrence at No12. But he can ill-afford to do so on this occasion and now seeks to instill some confidence, and even fitness, to what is close to his favoured XV. In an unfair twist for England fans, Lawrence is the unlucky omission.

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