The defending champions began the tournament with a disappointing Calcutta Cup defeat to Scotland last weekend, so nothing more than a convincing victory will do for Eddie Jones’ men today. Luckily, the task at hand is not a daunting one, with Italy winless in the Six Nations since 2015 and having been hammered 50-10 by France in their opener in Rome last weekend.
England XV: Daly; Watson, Slade, Farrell (c), May; Ford, Youngs; M Vunipola, Cowan-Dickie, Sinckler; Itoje, Hill; Lawes, Curry, B Vunipola
Italy XV: Trulla; Sperandio, Brex, Canna, Ioane; Garbisi, Varney; Lovotti, Bigi (c), Riccioni; Lazzaroni, Sisi; Negri, Meyer, Lamaro
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10 mins: A bad mistake on the kick-off from Garbisi and England will have a scrum on halfway.
Franco Smith will be very frustrated indeed by a careless error like that, which should set the hosts up well for another sustained attack.
PENALTY! England 3-5 Italy | Owen Farrell 9′
9 mins: Simple as you like from in front of the posts. England are on the board.
8 mins: England continue to batter away at that wall of blue shirts, but Owen Farrell eventually decides to accept a simple kick at goal after another two penalties conceded in quick succession by Italy.
6 mins: England are looking to hit back very quickly after that surprise early setback, quickly setting up camp inside the Italian 22.
Juan Ignacio Brex is offside and the hosts continue to attack with penalty advantage.
TRY! England 0-5 Italy | Monty Ioane 3’
3 mins: An utterly disastrous start from England – but what a confident opening for the Azzurri!
They continue to attack well after the lineout, with the hosts becoming far too narrow in defence as Italy recycle the ball out left.
They have numbers on that side and it’s easy stuff as Australian-born wing Ioane goes over in the corner!
A difficult conversion is missed by Paolo Garbisi.
2 mins: Scottish referee Mike Adamson awards a deliberate knock-on against Courtney Lawes as Italy make a bright start to proceedings with ball in hand.
Instead of going for some early points, Italy decide to kick to the corner…
We are underway at Twickenham!
Matt Majendie at Twickenham
England come out at Twickenham amid the usual barrage of fire cannons.
All eyes will be on Owen Farrell and Billy Vunipola, so often the driving forces for their country but both coming under criticism for their performances against Scotland.
Both should have notably less ring rust a week on. It will be interesting to see how Vunipola’s brother Mako fares on his first start following an Achilles injury.
This week he admitted he wasn’t quite yet up to full speed but still starts.
Here come the teams in south-west London.
Some of England’s players take a knee before the national anthems, while the Italy contingent remain standing.
There is also a minute of silence pre-match in memory of late former England internationals Dave Egerton and Phil Horrocks-Taylor.
Less than 10 minutes remaining until kick-off at Twickenham.