Italy vs England player ratings: Who starred and who disappointed in Rome?

Italy vs England player ratings: Who starred and who disappointed in Rome?”

England secured the bonus point with their seven-try haul on a sun-lit Roman day, but their weekend was marred by a potentially serious knee injury suffered by scrum-half Ben Youngs. "I'm always optimistic. It's a knee injury, it looks like a ligament".

"We played some excellent rugby and contributed to an entertaining game, but I'm proud and annoyed", he said. That was how Eddie Jones attempted to downplay England's chances of becoming the first team to win the Six Nations three years in a row.

If England coach Eddie Jones retained any doubts about Sam Simmonds' suitability as an global No. 8 prior to defeating Italy in the Six Nations, his misgivings would have been allayed by the Exeter forward's barnstorming championship debut.

World Cup victor Lewis Moody immediately recognised the seriousness of the injury, tweeting his thoughts minutes after Youngs' withdrawal. Eddie Jones has known nothing but success in the competition during his tenure having backed up a Grand Slam triumph with their championship defence in 2017.

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Him exiting early meant a 70-minute run-out for Danny Care - England's most experienced substitute - he will now be tasked with seizing the No 9 shirt for good.

England made the flawless start to the defence of their Six Nations crown, scoring two early tries through Anthony Watson.

'He's fitted into the team well. "Conor O'Shea is doing a great job coaching them and it was a good tough game of rugby and we ran away with it in the end".

Farrell converted a penalty for England, before debutant Simmonds scored to extend the lead on 58 minutes. "I don't think we have scrummed that well since I've been in charge of England".

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Italy were not finished yet, Bellini squeezing over in the left corner to finish another fluent move just before the hour-mark, but the nippy Ford scooted over after he was fed on the inside by Farrell and Simmonds rounded off a superb Six Nations bow by turning on the after-burners to go under the posts.

The champions exploded out of the blocks by crossing twice through Anthony Watson inside the opening 10 minutes, but the overwhelming win their early onslaught appeared to signpost only materialised in the closing stages.

Te'o's only previous England start was also against Italy past year when they they struggled to deal with the Italians' surprise "no ruck" tactics before coming from behind at halftime to emerge 36-15 winners.

"We've got a fantastic squad that have all prepared really well", said Jones. We fought hard and dominated the game territorially.

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"The starting 15 laid a fantastic foundation which allowed us to make a number of replacements and give a lot of players their debut and conserve some bodies for next Friday".

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