Ben Youngs set to miss Wales match after suffering knee injury

Mike Tindall

Just this week, the South African admitted he has "four or five" tactics up his sleeve to try and put England off their game.

With fly-half Ford again involved in a loop move, and May once more cutting across, Watson sprinted clear and, with little room to play with, athletically grounded the ball despite opposing wing Tommaso Benvenuti's attempt to illegally shove him into touch.

The scrum-half's loss did nothing to knock England out of their stride at the Stadio Olimpico as they picked off their opponents at will.

Azzurri coach O'Shea said he was "proud and annoyed" by Italy's day, having felt his side contributed more to the match than the final scoreline suggested.

England supporters will likely call for Dan Robson to be included and he is more in the Youngs/Care mould but then you also have Ben Vellacott who has also played very well for Gloucester this season and has been named-checked by Jones in the past.

14 carries for a gain of 80 metres, in addition to a whopping 23 tackles will be just exactly what Jones was looking for when it comes to the performance from his number 8.

Jones also confirmed that with a training session planned for Monday and only two scrum-halves named in England's initial Six Nations squad, a replacement for Youngs has already been called for.

The 28-year-old former Holt and North Walsham junior was forced off in the ninth minute when his knee joint buckled awkwardly as he was tackled. But I'm really sure he wants to have a big game tomorrow [Sunday] but we'll have a really good battle with [Chris] Robshaw and Lawes so it will be a big challenge for us as a back-row.

The score was harsh on Italy who resisted bravely until a flurry of England tries in the closing minutes. Boni threatened to break free after Farrell telegraphed an interception, but the centre was shackled and it was back to the business of tries. Boni made good ground down the left and, with the red rose defence backpedalling, Tommaso Allan's accurate long pass gave the powerful Benvenuti enough space on the outside to leave May stranded.

'If he was a cricketer he'd be playing Twenty20.

Jones admits his group understand the pressure that is on them, both to perform and improve.

Ford, though, could land neither angled conversion and Youngs's sad exit on a motorised cart seemed to distract England momentarily. "Defensively we made a couple of errors but that's something we can work on and fix", said the coach. "But our lads held out and we built and built", Farrell said.

The Exeter Chiefs player is new and different.

But the hosts exposed the English defensive weakness again as Mattia Bellini squeezed home with millimetres between his knee and the whitewash in the left-hand corner. We are sure of the road we are on.

There was still time for the sort of fast finish which has become England's trademark.

Farrell converted what was only his sixth try in 54 matches for England. "It was always going to be a difficult team to play, sun shining, plenty to play for".

There was to be no repeat this time around and Italy lost their 13th successive Six Nations match.


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