Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: International Rugby: England v Italy Preview

International Rugby: England v Italy Preview

Chris Robshaw of England with Henry Slade of England
Chris Robshaw of England with Henry Slade of England


England and Italy will look to wrap up their preparations for the World Cup when they clash in their last Test before the global showpiece at St James’ Park on Friday.

Photo Copyright Steve Haag - Hollywoodbets 

England v Italy
6 September 20h45
St James’ Park, Newcastle

To Win
England 1/100
Draw 40/1
Italy 15/1


Handicap
England (-34.5) 9/10
Italy (+34.5) 9/10


Eddie Jones has named a strong side to start which includes the return of captain Owen Farrell at flyhalf in place of George Ford. Dan Cole, Anthony Watson and Joe Launchbury are just a few more big names to crack the nod.

Interestingly enough, Jones has also called upon Harlequin Joe Marchant to start for England despite the fact that he didn’t make the cut for the final World Cup squad. It seems likely that Jones didn’t want to risk playing incumbent No 13 Henry Slade in case he aggravated the knee injury he picked up in August, so Marchant’s selection is very much a case of horses for courses.

England have been pretty solid in their last three warm-up Tests; beating Wales in London, narrowly going down to them in Cardiff and then thrashing Ireland at Twickenham. Another win this weekend and the 2003 champions will feel pretty confident heading into the World Cup pool stages.

Italy on the other hand, have endured a rather haphazard past few weeks. They went down to Ireland in Dublin before thrashing Russia at home and were then picked apart by France in Paris.

They have a shot at earning some momentum with a good performance in Newcastle, with coach Connor O’Shea also likely to name a powerful starting XV.

Verdict: England by 10-points or more
Italy are always capable of putting in a surprise showing, but they may still fall short to a good England line-up this weekend.


Written by Shaun Goosen for Hollywoodbets 

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