Steve Borthwick 2024 Guinness Six Nations

Italy v England Six Nations Preview

Steve Borthwick’s England side are set to face Italy at the historic Stadio Olimpico in their opening game of the 2024 Six Nations on Saturday afternoon.

The 2024 Guinness Six Nations are set to finally get underway on Friday 2nd, February, when France takes on reigning champions Ireland at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille, with the game underway at 20:00.

England will then play their first game of the tournament at 14:15 on the afternoon of Saturday, 3rd February 2024, with the game being played at the Stadio Olimpico. Here, we look ahead at the game to come, with Steve Borthwick’s England looking to get their campaign to win the Six Nations for the 8th time off to the best of starts against Italy.

The other seven triumphs since the first Six Nations back at the start of the 21st Century took place in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2011, 2016, 2017 and most recently in 2020. Their most recent triumph in this prestigious tournament came courtesy of a bonus point win over Italy in their second game, and England were then able to claim the title on points difference over France, who needed to win their final game by a 31 point margin. France beat Ireland 35 – 27 that day.

Steve Borthwick and Gonzalo Quesada, Head Coaches of England and Italy, respectively, have both announced their teams to take to the field on Saturday afternoon. Let’s start with the England team that Borthwick has selected.

Team News

England Starting XV: 15 – Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers, 31 Caps), 14 – Tommy Freeman (Northampton Saints, 3 Caps), 13 – Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 57 Caps), 12 – Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints, Uncapped), 11 Elliot Daly (Saracens, 64 Caps), 10 – George Ford (Sale Sharks, 91 Caps, Vice-Captain), 9 – Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints, 11 Caps), 1 – Joe Marler (Harlequins, 88 Caps), 2 – Jamie George (Saracens, 85 Caps – Captain), 3 – Will Stuart (Bath Rugby, 33 Caps), 4 – Maro Itoje (Saracens, 76 Caps – Vice-Captain), 5 – Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers, 18 Caps), 6 – Ethan Roots (Exeter Chiefs, Uncapped), 7 Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby, 30 Caps) & 8 – Ben Earl (Saracens, 25 Caps).

England Replacements: 16 – Theo Dan (Saracens, 7 Caps), 17 – Ellis Genge (Bristol Bears, 58 Caps, Vice-Captain), 18 – Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers, 107 Caps), 19 – Alex Coles (Northampton Saints, 3 Caps), 20 – Chandler Cunningham-Smith (Harlequins, Uncapped), 21 – Danny Care (Harlequins, 96 Caps), 22 – Fin Smith (Northampton Saints, Uncapped) & 23 – Immanuel Feyi-Waboso (Exeter Chiefs).

Italy Starting XV: 15 – Tommaso Allan (Perpignan), 14 – Ange Capuozzo (Toulouse), 13 Juan Ignacio Brex (Benetton), 12 – Tommaso Menoncello (Benetton), 11 – Monty Ioane (Lyon), 10 – Paolo Garbisi (Montpellier), 9 Alessandro Garbisi (Benetton), 8 – Lorenzo Cannone (Benetton), 7 – Michele Lamaro (Benetton, Captain),  7 – Sebastian Negri (Benetton), 5 – Federico Ruzza (Benetton), 4 – Niccolo Cannone (Benetton), 3 – Pietro Ceccarelli (Perpignan), 2 – Gianmarco Lucchesi (Benetton) & 1 – Danilo Fischetti (Zebre Parma).

Italy Replacements: 16 – Giocomo Nicotera (Benetton), 17 – Mirco Spagnolo (Benetton), 18 – Giosué Zilocchi (Benetton), 19 – Andrea Zambonin (Zebre Parma), 20 – Edoardo Iachizzi (Benetton), 21 – Manuel Zuliani (Benetton), 22 – Stephen Varney (Gloucester) & 23 – Lorenzo Pani (Zebre Parma).

The most recent competitive international match between these two nations was on 12th February 2023 in the 2023 Six Nations Championship at the iconic and historic Twickenham Stadium. It was England who won that day, beating Italy by an emphatic margin of 31 – 14.

Overall, England have an incredible record against Italy over the years, having won all 30 of their competitive matches against each other. In terms of points in this fixture over the years, England has scored 1,197 points against Italy compared to the 356 points that Italy have scored against England.

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