England will be looking to run up a big score in a bid to claim the 2020 Six Nations crown when they take on Italy at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday evening.
Image copyright – Steve Haag Sports
After the longest season on record, the 6 Nations will reach a thrilling conclusion this coming weekend with three sides capable of stilling winning the 2020 title. England currently occupy the pound seat to claim European rugby’s most respected title with Eddie Jones’ side only a point behind log-leaders Ireland who have a tricky away game against the French -who are also in with a shot of claiming top honours -later in the day.
Jones’s side will be gunning for a big bonus-point win against Italy which would heap the pressure on the Irish and French.
Italy v England
Saturday 31 October
To Win (80 Mins)
We may be experiencing one of the strangest years in human history but some things have remained constant including Italy’s struggles in the 6 Nations. The Azzuri have yet again endured another tough old year losing the four games they have played thus far while shipping a staggering twenty tries while only scoring five of their own.
To make matters worse for the hosts, they head into this one off the back of their second-heaviest defeat of the season as they went down 50-17 to Ireland last weekend. With England on a massive points hunt, things could get extremely messy for Franco Smith’s men this Saturday evening.
Eddie Jones’ side have it all to play for in Rome. The World Cup runners up have enjoyed a solid if not spectacular 6 Nations campaign beating Ireland, France and Wales while going down to the French.
While the visitors are expected to win this one at a canter, it may take them some time to start piling on the points as they will come into this one cold after last week’s scheduled game against the Barbarians was called off due to Barbarians squad members breaking COVID-19 protocols.
While the above does put the English at a slight disadvantage, it must be remembered that this is a side that has beaten Italy by 30 points or more in four of the last five meetings between the sides, with their 2019 fixture seeing the English run out 37-0 victors.
Verdict: England (-) 9/10
I’m expecting a polished performance from the English and I expect them to win this one by more than 36 points.