England will discover the extent of Ben Youngs' injury on Monday

Clyde Nash
February 6, 2018

England lost scrumhalf Ben Youngs in the first half when he suffered a knee injury.

Youngs was injured less than 10 minutes into his 56th start for England, which overtook Matt Dawson's record of most starts for an England scrum-half.

The 61-cap lock has emerged as a key figure under Eddie Jones and he has only been on the losing side for England once in 21 games since the start of 2016.

If England coach Eddie Jones retained any doubts about Sam Simmonds' suitability as an global No. 8 prior to defeating Italy in the Six Nations, his misgivings would have been allayed by the Exeter forward's barnstorming championship debut.

But if any team can deal with a raft of injuries, it ought to be a well-resourced England. Eddie Jone's men have been impressive in the run-up to the tournament, thrashing Argentina and Samoa in November a year ago, and are sure to be full of confidence at the Stadio Olimpico.

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"We want to be ruthless, relentless and chase down every team and get as many wins as we can".

Their attack, led by two-try cameos from Anthony Watson and Six Nations newcomer Sam Simmonds, offered plenty with the fulcrum of George Ford and Owen Farrell always busy.

Farrell then went on to the blindside and took a well-timed pass from replacement scrumhalf Danny Care, before easing through another gap in the Italian defence for a try under the posts.

England scored four tries in the final half an hour with Sam Simmonds scoring his first just moments after Tommaso Boni had a try disallowed that would have brought Italy to within three points with a conversion.

"We've got a fantastic squad that have all prepared really well", said Jones.

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How to watch England vs Italy in the Six Nations 2018.

England are still missing several key players, including number eight Billy Vunipola, who has a broken arm, and suspended duo Joe Marler and James Haskell.

Simmonds then raced away to scored England's fourth try although Italy, who lost 10 out of 11 matches previous year, continued to cause trouble and again reduced the arrears as Bellini forced his way past Mike Brown to score in the corner. When the game broke up at the end we were able to score tries, with some lovely ball movement.

For Italy, under Irish coach Conor O'Shea, the goal remains one of self-respect and the need to improve on a desperate run of just one win in their last 20 Six Nations fixtures.

But England floored the hosts with three quick tries in the closing minutes from Ford, Simmonds and Nowell to seal an emphatic victory.

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