Jones not holding back for Azzurri
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Eddie Jones has named his team for England’s key Six Nations tie against Italy on Saturday.
Ben Youngs is set to make his 100th cap for his country, at scrumhalf – 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.
Both players will lead England out at the Stadio Olimpico.
England needs a bonus-point win to put them in contention for winning the tournament, depending on the result in France versus Ireland, which follows the game in Rome.
Jonny Hill will make his England debut at lock, while Owen Farrell, starting at flyhalf, will captain the side.
Henry Slade is at inside centre while Jonathan Joseph returns for England at outside centre.
George Furbank is named at fullback with Jonny May and Anthony Watson on the wings.
Kyle Sinckler will play tighthead and Mako Vunipola loosehead in the front row. Maro Itoje completes the tight five.
Sam Underhill is named at openside flank, with Tom Curry named at blindside flank and Billy Vunipola, returning from injury for England for the first time since the World Cup Final, at No.8.
Uncapped trio Tom Dunn, Ollie Lawrence and Ollie Thorley are named as replacements, alongside scrumhalf Dan Robson. Props Ellis Genge and Will Stuart also join the bench with Charlie Ewels and Ben Earl.
(Continue below …)
“We’ve trained with good intensity this week and the squad are excited by the challenge of performing at our best against Italy,” Jones said.
“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: 15 George Furbank, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Henry Slade, 11 Jonny May, 10 Owen Farrell (captain), 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Sam Underhill, 6 Tom Curry, 5 Jonny Hill, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Tom Dunn, 17 Ellis Genge, 18 Will Stuart, 19 Charlie Ewels, 20 Ben Earl, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Ollie Lawrence, 23 Ollie Thorley.
Date: Saturday, October 31
Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Kick-off: 18.45 (16.45 UK time & GMT)
Referee: Pascal Gauzere (France)
Assistant referees: Alex Ruiz (France), Mike Adamson (Scotland)
TMO: Romain Poite (France)