England reveal team to face Italy in Six Nations clash – announcement LIVE

Henry Slade named in England squad to face Italy after injury

Henry Slade is back from injury and in England’s 36-man squad for Saturday’s Guinness Six Nations clash with Italy at Twickenham.

The centre was ruled out of the defeat to Scotland on Saturday after sustaining a hip problem while on Exeter duty.

London Irish wing Henry Arundell also returns to the fold after injury, while Courtney Lawes (calf) will be in camp as the Northampton man continues rehabilitation work, a squad update from England Rugby said.

England were beaten 29-23 by the Scots in their Calcutta Cup match at the weekend, the team’s first match since Steve Borthwick replaced Eddie Jones as head coach.

Henry Slade named in England squad to face Italy after injury

London Irish wing Henry Arundell also returns to the fold.

It was quite nice – Dan Cole delighted to be back in the England fold

Dan Cole reflects on a job well done rather than catharsis after his first act since emerging from England exile was to force a scrum penalty.

Three years after becoming the fall guy for England’s set-piece disintegration against South Africa in the 2019 World Cup final, the stars aligned against Scotland on Saturday to enable Cole to address that fateful night in Yokohama.

No sooner had the Leicester prop stepped on to the Twickenham pitch as a final-quarter replacement than he was packing down in a scrum that ended with him driving through Pierre Schoeman, securing a penalty.

Although his 96th cap concluded with the Calcutta Cup being taken back to Edinburgh, Cole has taken satisfaction from a first involvement full of poignancy.

It was quite nice – Dan Cole delighted to be back in the England fold

Cole was dropped by Eddie Jones after the 2019 World Cup final

More from Borthwick

“I’d seen a habit within the team of conceding points early and not being able to respond to it. We conceded points against Scotland and the biggest thing I was looking at was the response. I thought the response was magnificent.” said the England boss,

“We saw improvement against Scotland in a lot of areas. Some areas didn’t go so well and we need to make sure we get those addressed. Some take longer than others.

“We are trying to rebuild the set-piece here. That takes time. You saw some improvement in our attack.

“In terms of the way we hit in defence, there were improvements there but there were a couple of tries which Scotland took brilliantly, which is immense credit to them.

“I feel disappointed with the result. I asked the players to do some things differently. I have asked the players to play a new way. I have got to get the players to believe in themselves and get the players to bring their strengths to the pitch.

“I want them to play to the best of themselves, which we haven’t seen them do for a while. I think you saw an improvement in that regard against Scotland.”

Borthwick outlines England’s issues

“We know we’ve got a lot of work to do. I’ve been frank from day one in saying there’s a lot of work to do,” said England head coach Steve Borthwick following their defeat to Scotland in the Six Nations opener.

“When I looked at the team in the autumn, when I measured the team and got all the data for the team, we weren’t good at anything. It was as frank as that.

“So we are trying to build some strengths in this team and some bits we are pleased about and some bits we are disappointed about. My job is to make sure we get some improvements for Italy.

“There are multiple areas we have tried to change. You saw some improvement in the scrum against Scotland which I was pleased about because it has been ranked as the worst scrum in tier one rugby.

“We saw some improvements in the attack and speed of ball and we tried to improve the breakdown where England were ranked the ninth quickest, so one of the slowest in tier one.”

New era, same issues for England as Scotland show road ahead

Gregor Townsend savoured the moment. In the week ahead of Scotland’s Six Nations opener, their head coach had planted an asterisk against his side’s 2021 behind-closed-doors win – victory in front of a full Twickenham crowd would be another matter entirely.

There is no need for a caveat now. Come the cool of the February evening it was Scottish lips taking sweet sips from the Calcutta Cup for a third year in succession, the home of English rugby conquered again.

There was plenty of pain during Townsend’s playing days against England: 10 games, nine defeats to the auld enemy. Not since the curtailed Five Nations of 1972 had Scotland won three on the spin against England. But Townsend has forged a squad of history-makers, and as the former fly-half surveyed the landscape of a rivalry transformed under his rule, it was clear just how much it meant.

New era, same issues for England as Scotland show road ahead

Scotland claimed the Calcutta Cup for a third straight year as Ireland and France also got off to winning starts in the Six Nations

Youngs may yet be recalled

Ben Youngs is set to miss out on a spot in England’s team for Sunday’s game and when asked to explain Youngs’ omission, defence coach Kevin Sinfield said it was a selection only with Italy in mind and that Youngs could be recalled down the line.

“Our view on selection is probably different to you guys,” he said. “Just because a player has left camp to go home doesn’t mean they’ve been discarded. They’re a massive part of what we’re trying to do and they’ve been outstanding.

“We’ve picked a side based on the opposition and one that we think will give us the best chance of winning.

“The change from last week has not been performance related, it’s to do with the threat that Italy pose and the way we want to play.”

When is England vs Italy?

England vs Italy is due to kick off at 3pm GMT on Sunday 12 February at Twickenham Stadium.

The match is due to be shown live on ITV1, with coverage from 2.15pm GMT. Registered users can stream the game via ITVX.

Steve Borthwick was right – England weren’t good at anything, admits Eddie Jones

Eddie Jones admits that Steve Borthwick was “probably right” when stating he had inherited an England team that “weren’t good at anything”.

Borthwick, who took over from Jones as head coach in December, offered the damning assessment following last Saturday’s 29-23 Six Nations defeat by Scotland at Twickenham.

Jones was sacked after presiding over a dire 2022 and, having now taken charge of Australia, he accepts his attempts to enhance England’s attack created problems.

“Well he’s probably right and that’s part of the problem,” Jones told the podcast EDDIE. “We were trying to morph a team that had had a very good set-piece and very good kicking game.”

Steve Borthwick was right – England weren’t good at anything, admits Eddie Jones

Borthwick took over as England head coach in December following the sacking of Jones

What is the team news?

Steve Borthwick is thought to be mulling changes to his England side after a disappointing start to his tenure as head coach. The return of Henry Slade after injury could lead to a different midfield combination, with Owen Farrell perhaps shifting to fly half with Ollie Lawrence and Slade outside him. Henry Arundell is another returnee from injury and is already pushing for a back-three opportunity, which may come from the bench.

The France-based Jack Willis is likelier to feature this week after missing out last, while Alex Mitchell is in line for a second cap with Ben Youngs, England’s most capped male player, not included.

Italy were without first-choice fly half Paolo Garbisi for their Six Nations opener, and it may be that this game also comes too soon for the playmaker. Tommaso Allan is therefore set to continue at fly half, and after a positive start to the tournament, major changes would appear unlikely.

Kieran Crowley could bring Saracens prop Marco Riccioni into his starting side at tighthead, while the New Zealander may also consider starting Edoardo Padovani in the back three – his experience and aerial acumen may be valuable.

Borthwick’s 29-man squad

Here’s the pool from which Borthwick will be selecting his team and bench today:

Forwards: Ollie Chessum (Leicester), Dan Cole (Leicester), Alex Dombrandt (Harlequins), Tom Dunn (Bath), Ben Earl (Saracens), Ellis Genge (Bristol), Jamie George (Saracens) Nick Isiekwe (Saracens), Maro Itoje (Saracens), Lewis Ludlam (Northampton), David Ribbans (Northampton), Kyle Sinckler (Bristol), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Jack Walker (Harlequins), Jack Willis (Toulouse).

Backs: Henry Arundell (London Irish), Owen Farrell (Saracens), Tommy Freeman (Northampton), Ollie Hassell-Collins (London Irish), Ollie Lawrence (Bath), Max Malins (Saracens), Joe Marchant (Harlequins), Alex Mitchell (Northampton), Henry Slade (Exeter), Fin Smith (Northampton), Marcus Smith (Harlequins), Freddie Steward (Leicester), Manu Tuilagi (Sale), Jack van Poortvliet (Leicester).

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