Rugby Union

Jones must be bold against Italy..

England coach Eddie Jones should play this team against Italy

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England coach Eddie Jones should consider making several changes to his team despite their victory over Scotland in the Six Nations last weekend.

Jones must experiment with alternative tactics and team selections to avoid suffering the same fate as the man he replaced, Stuart Lancaster.

With this is mind, Jones should field this team against Italy.

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Loosehead – Mako Vunipola

Joe Marler was solid enough against Scotland, but still bores in at scrum time occasionally.

He was lucky referee John Lacy failed to notice as his regular offending has seen him earn a place on the watch list of many officials.

Vunipola was excellent when he came on and should be given the chance to show he's more than an impact man.

Hooker – Jamie George

The form hooker of the Premiership must be given a start to show his international credentials, even though this would mean benching captain Dylan Hartley.

Tighthead – Paul Hill

Likewise, Hill needs to be given the chance to show what he can do.

Although Dan Cole is useful at the breakdown and decent in the scrum, he has notoriously been shown to get on the wrong side of the referee and is not a ball carrying option.

The Italians injury crisis means this would be the lowest pressure game in which to test alternative options in the tight five.

Locks – Maro Itoje and George Kruis

The Saracens pair would likely form a fine pairing on the international stage.

Kruis was the form lock in the Calcutta Cup test and topped off his performance with a try.

Itoje needs to prove he's tough enough to mix it with the best, and a bruising encounter against the Italians pack should provide the perfect test for the young prospect.

Blindside – James Haskell

Haskell proved his quality in his natural six position at Murrayfield with a series of brave charges and shackling tackles.

The 30-year-old's impressive performance warrants another chance against the Azzurri and he perhaps should even be given the captain's armband for the day to boot.

Openside – Jack Clifford

A start would give Clifford a chance to prove his supposed potential to be the next great English seven. It would also do Matt Kvesic some good to get a run prior to the hour mark.

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Eight – Josh Beaumont

It may seem harsh to drop Billy Vunipola following his man-of-the-match performance against Scotland.

However, if there was one blemish over England's game against Scotland, it was a lack of line-out options.

Kruis took every line-out, and Beaumont and Itoje present a ready-made solution to this problem.

Scrum-half – Danny Care

It would be risky for Jones to make too many changes, though. To avoid unsettling a winning side, Care should be given another opportunity to demonstrate his attacking quality.

Fly-half – George Ford

Ford was almost anonymous against the Scots as Owen Farrell continually shined at inside centre.

The 22-year-old needs to use the Italy game to prove he's capable of imposing himself on the game and a potential long-term wearer of the ten shirt.

Inside centre – Ollie Deveto

If Deveto is going to cut the mustard at international level, he must begin to show off his distribution and attacking skills.

Farrell failed to do so against Scotland but instead proved his ability to play at ten rather than centre.

A lack of direct competition for Ford's position may well help his game should Farrell be deployed elsewhere in the future.

Outside centre – Elliot Daly

Possibly due to no fault of his own, Jon Joseph didn't get into the game much against Scotland.

However, Daly is the form centre of the Premiership and brings not only raw pace to match Joseph but deft playmaking abilities, an eye for the gap and a siege cannon of a boot that proves handy for both place and goal kicks.

Wingers – Jack Nowell and Anthony Watson

Watson made a few errors against Scotland whereas Nowell had an excellent outing. With that being said, both deserve more time to consolidate their places in the team and will hopefully be given an opportunity to do so in what should be a more open game versus Italy.

Fullback – Alex Goode

Scotland were caught off guard by a mercurial England outfit, but they were certainly prepared for Mike Brown.

The home side knew he would be used as a ball carrier and marked him accordingly to stifle his kicks and running capacity.

Following Brown's predictable outing in the opening fixture, Goode should be given a start in his place.

He scans the line more effectively than Brown and can pop up at ten or 13 to change up play, which would be very useful in getting the backline to fire on all cylinders.

Who should line up against Italy this Sunday? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below!

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Topics:
England Rugby
Rugby Union
Six Nations

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