England recall big guns for test against Italy this weekend

  • England stars Courtney Lawes, Kyle Sinckler, George Ford and Mako Vunipola all return for Saturday's clash against the Azzurri
  • Luke Cowan-Dickie to start at Hooker
  • Captain Owen Farrel moves to inside centre to make room for George Ford


England have called in the big guns in the hope to bounce back after last weekend’s first round loss to Scotland.

The familiar tried and tested combo of Ford and Farrel makes a return at fly-half and centre respectively, with Henry Slade keeping his spot at outside centre. The rest of the backline remains unchanged.

A brand new frontline is called apon, with Cowan-Dickie joining Kyle Sinkler and Mako Vunipola back from injury.

Image: Amy Hunter

Italy will also be looking to change their luck after suffering a 50-10 loss to now favourites France in the opening game last week.

England head coach Eddie Jones said: “We’ve picked what we think is our strongest 23 to try to win the game.”

Image: Amy Hunter

England will be expected to be more convincing this weekend, with home field advantage and being touted to win the competition, a win is a must at Twickenham on Saturday afternoon.

Italy head coach Franco Smith has opted for more experience for their trip accross the ocean, with centre Carlo Canna and prop Andrea Lovotti’ being named in the starting 15.



1. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 63 caps).                        
2. Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 27 caps)
3. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, 40 caps)
4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, 44 caps)
5. Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, 5 caps)
6. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 86 caps)
7. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 29 caps)
8. Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 57 caps)

15. Elliot Daly (Saracens, 48 caps)
14. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, 47 caps)
13. Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 35 caps)
12. Owen Farrell (C) (Saracens, 89 caps)
11. Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby, 62 caps)
10. George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 73 caps)
9. Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 105 caps)


16. Jamie George (Saracens, 55 caps)
17. Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 24 caps)
18. Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 9 caps)
19. Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, 17 caps)
20. Ben Earl (Bristol Bears, 9 caps)
21. Jack Willis (Wasps, 2 caps)
22. Dan Robson (Wasps, 8 caps)
23. Max Malins (Bristol Bears, 4 caps)


15 Jacopo TRULLA (Kawasaki Robot Calvisano, 4 caps)

14 Luca SPERANDIO (Benetton Rugby, 9 caps)

13 Juan Ignacio BREX (Benetton Rugby, 1 cap)

12 Carlo CANNA (Zebre Rugby Club, 48 caps)

11 Montanna IOANE (Benetton Rugby, 2 caps)

10 Paolo GARBISI (Benetton Rugby, 6 caps)

9 Stephen VARNEY (Gloucester Rugby, 4 caps)

8 Michele LAMARO (Benetton Rugby, 3 caps)

7 Johan MEYER (Zebre Rugby Club, 10 caps)

6 Sebastian NEGRI (Benetton Rugby, 29 caps)

5 David SISI (Zebre Rugby Club, 12 caps)

4 Marco LAZZARONI (Benetton Rugby, 12 caps)

3 Marco RICCIONI (Benetton Rugby, 8 caps)

2 Luca BIGI (Zebre Rugby Club, 33 caps) – capitano

1 Andrea LOVOTTI (Zebre Rugby Club, 43 caps)


16 Gianmarco LUCCHESI (Benetton Rugby, 3 caps)

17 Danilo FISCHETTI (Zebre Rugby Club, 9 caps)

18 Giosuè ZILOCCHI (Zebre Rugby Club, 11 caps)

19 Niccolò CANNONE (Benetton Rugby, 9 caps)

20 Federico RUZZA (Benetton Rugby, 20 caps)

21 Guglielmo PALAZZANI (Zebre Rugby Club, 42 caps)

22 Tommaso ALLAN (Benetton Rugby, 60 caps)

23 Federico MORI (Kawasaki Robot Calvisano, 5 caps)