Italy v England Six Nations 16:00 Sat
England backs coach Andy Farrell has warned England they must not rest on their laurels following their win against Scotland as Bet365 make them heavy odds on favourites when they travel to Rome to take on Italy this weekend.
England were able to claim a 13-6 win at Murrayfield despite spending much of the second half on the back foot, with Andy Robinson’s men ruing numerous missed opportunities to win the game for themselves.
Now Farrell wants to see more of the same from the new-look England side under the guidance of interim coach Stuart Lancaster, but insists they are not underestimating the size of the task that lies ahead of them on Saturday.
“We are not concerned about what lies ahead because the culture we are trying to drive gets us in the right place all the time,” Farrell said.
“We know the passions of the Italians. We know they are playing at a new stadium that is going to be full, we know they will want to show what they are about as a rugby nation. The size of the challenge is similar to what we met last week.”
England look set to keep roughly the same team that overcome Scotland for the game against Itlay, with fit-again fly-half Toby Flood reporting back to his club side Leicester, meaning Charlie Hodgson is expected to continue at ten.
Chris Ashton earned a place in the record books last year as he ran in four tries during England’s 59-13 win at Twickenham last year and should start while the newly former centre partnership of Brad Barritt and Owen Farrell is expected to be given the chance to flourish once more and Chris Robshaw is expected to keep hold of the captain’s armband.
Italy meanwhile have already named their line up for the game, with Marco Bortolami coming in to earn his 90th cap for the Azzurri in place of Cornelius Van Zyl in the second row while Gonzalo Canale will start in place of Alberto Sgarbi, also in the second row.