England claim routine victory over Italy in final World Cup warm-up match as Joe Marchant scores stunning try

6 Sep

England won their final match before flying off to the Rugby World Cup in Japan with thanks to help from a man who will be left behind.

Centre Joe Marchant was given his chance alongside Henry Slade and Jonathan Joseph as Eddie Jones was reluctant to expose Manu Tuilagi to the risk of injury.

Marchant scored a brilliant try on 53 minutes
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And Marchant scored an excellent try to help England round off their World Cup preparations with a 37-0 win over Italy in Newcastle.

England’s first home game away from Twickenham since 2015 was initially a low-key affair, with the 50,157 St James’ Park crowd distinctly unimpressed by their first-half performance but Marchant’s solo try after 53 minutes gave them something to cheer.

It was only 9-0 at half-time but England ran in four second-half tries in total to run out comfortable winners.

England have never lost to Italy in 25 previous Tests and Connor O’Shea’s men, who were without a rested skipper Sergio Parisse, never looked like breaking their duck as they concluded their World Cup build-up in untidy fashion.

England were streets ahead of the Italians without needing to play particularly well
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For England it was job done, as Jones’ men followed up victories over Wales and Ireland with a competent display against the limited Azzurri to offset their narrow defeat in Cardiff.

Jones fielded 20 members of his 31-strong World Cup party that will fly out to Japan on Sunday and he will be anxious to check on the fitness of lock Joe Launchbury after he limped out of the action six minutes before half-time.

Bath winger Ruaridh McConnochie got an early touch to ease his nerves on his long-awaited debut but most of the action took place on the other flank, where the experienced Jonny May caught the eye with a typically strong performance.

Italy clearly came to spoil and were warned by referee Ben O’Keeffe for persistent time-wasting at the line-out but they created the best early scoring opportunity, with centre Tommaso Benvenuti dropping the ball going for the corner after 11 minutes.

May was a major threat with his powerful running and ability to gather attacking kicks over the Italy defence but England lacked composure when it came to finishing off the promising moves.

It was a disjointed first-half performance and the fans demonstrated their frustration with boos as Liam Farrell lined up his third penalty attempt on the stroke of half-time which gave his side a 9-0 lead.

Undeterred, Farrell opted for goal again when the indisciplined visitors infringed once more at the start of the second half but he was off target for the first time.

The fans cheered when fly-half Carlo Canna opted to twice run the ball from penalties and the Mexican Waves were halted six minutes into the second half when Ben Youngs went over from the base of a ruck for the opening try which followed a strong surge from replacement prop Kyle Sinckler.

Seven minutes later Marchant took Youngs’ short pass to blow a hole in the Azzurri defence and easily rounded full-back Jayden Hayward for a try on his third appearance.

That broke Italy’s spirit as England cut loose in the last 15 minutes to make their obvious superiority tell on the scoreboard.

Impressive prop Ellis Genge got on the end of a rolling maul to touch down while Farrell got full-back Anthony Watson romping through a gap for England’s fourth try and the skipper kicked his seventh goal from eight attempts to wrap up the scoring.

The serious business starts for England later this month
Getty Images - Getty

England claim routine victory over Italy in final World Cup warm-up match as Joe Marchant scores stunning try

6 Sep

England won their final match before flying off to the Rugby World Cup in Japan with thanks to help from a man who will be left behind.

Centre Joe Marchant was given his chance alongside Henry Slade and Jonathan Joseph as Eddie Jones was reluctant to expose Manu Tuilagi to the risk of injury.

Marchant scored a brilliant try on 53 minutes
Getty Images - Getty

And Marchant scored an excellent try to help England round off their World Cup preparations with a 37-0 win over Italy in Newcastle.

England’s first home game away from Twickenham since 2015 was initially a low-key affair, with the 50,157 St James’ Park crowd distinctly unimpressed by their first-half performance but Marchant’s solo try after 53 minutes gave them something to cheer.

It was only 9-0 at half-time but England ran in four second-half tries in total to run out comfortable winners.

England have never lost to Italy in 25 previous Tests and Connor O’Shea’s men, who were without a rested skipper Sergio Parisse, never looked like breaking their duck as they concluded their World Cup build-up in untidy fashion.

England were streets ahead of the Italians without needing to play particularly well
AFP or licensors

For England it was job done, as Jones’ men followed up victories over Wales and Ireland with a competent display against the limited Azzurri to offset their narrow defeat in Cardiff.

Jones fielded 20 members of his 31-strong World Cup party that will fly out to Japan on Sunday and he will be anxious to check on the fitness of lock Joe Launchbury after he limped out of the action six minutes before half-time.

Bath winger Ruaridh McConnochie got an early touch to ease his nerves on his long-awaited debut but most of the action took place on the other flank, where the experienced Jonny May caught the eye with a typically strong performance.

Italy clearly came to spoil and were warned by referee Ben O’Keeffe for persistent time-wasting at the line-out but they created the best early scoring opportunity, with centre Tommaso Benvenuti dropping the ball going for the corner after 11 minutes.

May was a major threat with his powerful running and ability to gather attacking kicks over the Italy defence but England lacked composure when it came to finishing off the promising moves.

It was a disjointed first-half performance and the fans demonstrated their frustration with boos as Liam Farrell lined up his third penalty attempt on the stroke of half-time which gave his side a 9-0 lead.

Undeterred, Farrell opted for goal again when the indisciplined visitors infringed once more at the start of the second half but he was off target for the first time.

The fans cheered when fly-half Carlo Canna opted to twice run the ball from penalties and the Mexican Waves were halted six minutes into the second half when Ben Youngs went over from the base of a ruck for the opening try which followed a strong surge from replacement prop Kyle Sinckler.

Seven minutes later Marchant took Youngs’ short pass to blow a hole in the Azzurri defence and easily rounded full-back Jayden Hayward for a try on his third appearance.

That broke Italy’s spirit as England cut loose in the last 15 minutes to make their obvious superiority tell on the scoreboard.

Impressive prop Ellis Genge got on the end of a rolling maul to touch down while Farrell got full-back Anthony Watson romping through a gap for England’s fourth try and the skipper kicked his seventh goal from eight attempts to wrap up the scoring.

The serious business starts for England later this month
Getty Images - Getty

England vs Italy: Joe Marchant starts despite being omitted from World Cup squad

4 Sep

Joe Marchant will start England’s Test against Italy on Friday despite not being called up to the squad for the World Cup later this year.

Marchant has been omitted from the 31-man squad bound for Japan on September 8 but slots into the midfield alongside Piers Francis with captain Owen Farrell starting the final warm-up fixture at fly-half.

Marchant (centre) will make his first England start against Italy
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Two further players not picked for Japan 2019 are present on the bench in lock Charlie Ewels and flanker Matt Kvesic.

Ruaridh McConnochie finally makes his debut on the right wing after two aborted attempts in the double header against Wales due to hip and hamstring injuries.

The Bath sevens specialist forms a rapid back three alongside Anthony Watson, who makes his fourth appearance at full-back, and Leicester flyer Jonny May.

Henry Slade has lost his battle with a knee injury and so misses the last opportunity to get some game time before the World Cup and Ben Youngs is given another run at scrum-half.

Eddie Jones has largely stuck to his tried and tested up-front, including a fourth successive start for star number eight Billy Vunipola.

Mark Wilson, a Newcastle stalwart who will spend next season at Sale, makes his first start of the summer at openside flanker and Tom Curry is given another run at six.

Jones said: “We have gone with a mix and match selection policy to develop our adaptability and the team’s ability to cope with any situation.”

England have enjoyed a promising warm-up series to Japan 2019 with a pleasing win against Wales at Twickenham and crushing win over Italy only slightly off-set by a narrow defeat in Cardiff.

Italy complete the four fixtures in the nation’s first outing at St James’ Park, two days before the squad set-off for a pre-tournament training camp in Miyazaki.

Marchant is one of three players picked for Friday’s match who are not included in the World Cup squad
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Jones said: “We are delighted to be playing against Italy, one of our traditional Six Nations rivals and the game for us is another important step to develop our game fitness and game strategy.

“We have had a solid training week in Treviso with hot conditions so we are looking forward to testing ourselves against Italy on Friday night. Then we hop on the plane and are ready to go to Japan.

“We are excited to be playing in Newcastle. We are playing at an iconic football ground and we know the area is an important one for rugby in the northern part of England. We are looking forward to seeing and playing in front of the fans.”

England team vs Italy: A Watson (Bath Rugby); R McConnochie (Bath Rugby), J Marchant (Harlequins), P Francis (Northampton), J May (Leicester), O Farrell (Saracens, captain), B Youngs (Leicester); J Marler (Harlequins), J George (Saracens), D Cole (Leicester), J Launchbury (Wasps), C Lawes (Northampton), T Curry (Sale), M Wilson (Newcastle), B Vunipola (Saracens)

England vs Italy: Joe Marchant starts despite being omitted from World Cup squad

4 Sep

Joe Marchant will start England’s Test against Italy on Friday despite not being called up to the squad for the World Cup later this year.

Marchant has been omitted from the 31-man squad bound for Japan on September 8 but slots into the midfield alongside Piers Francis with captain Owen Farrell starting the final warm-up fixture at fly-half.

Marchant (centre) will make his first England start against Italy
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Two further players not picked for Japan 2019 are present on the bench in lock Charlie Ewels and flanker Matt Kvesic.

Ruaridh McConnochie finally makes his debut on the right wing after two aborted attempts in the double header against Wales due to hip and hamstring injuries.

The Bath sevens specialist forms a rapid back three alongside Anthony Watson, who makes his fourth appearance at full-back, and Leicester flyer Jonny May.

Henry Slade has lost his battle with a knee injury and so misses the last opportunity to get some game time before the World Cup and Ben Youngs is given another run at scrum-half.

Eddie Jones has largely stuck to his tried and tested up-front, including a fourth successive start for star number eight Billy Vunipola.

Mark Wilson, a Newcastle stalwart who will spend next season at Sale, makes his first start of the summer at openside flanker and Tom Curry is given another run at six.

Jones said: “We have gone with a mix and match selection policy to develop our adaptability and the team’s ability to cope with any situation.”

England have enjoyed a promising warm-up series to Japan 2019 with a pleasing win against Wales at Twickenham and crushing win over Italy only slightly off-set by a narrow defeat in Cardiff.

Italy complete the four fixtures in the nation’s first outing at St James’ Park, two days before the squad set-off for a pre-tournament training camp in Miyazaki.

Marchant is one of three players picked for Friday’s match who are not included in the World Cup squad
Getty Images - Getty

Jones said: “We are delighted to be playing against Italy, one of our traditional Six Nations rivals and the game for us is another important step to develop our game fitness and game strategy.

“We have had a solid training week in Treviso with hot conditions so we are looking forward to testing ourselves against Italy on Friday night. Then we hop on the plane and are ready to go to Japan.

“We are excited to be playing in Newcastle. We are playing at an iconic football ground and we know the area is an important one for rugby in the northern part of England. We are looking forward to seeing and playing in front of the fans.”

England team vs Italy: A Watson (Bath Rugby); R McConnochie (Bath Rugby), J Marchant (Harlequins), P Francis (Northampton), J May (Leicester), O Farrell (Saracens, captain), B Youngs (Leicester); J Marler (Harlequins), J George (Saracens), D Cole (Leicester), J Launchbury (Wasps), C Lawes (Northampton), T Curry (Sale), M Wilson (Newcastle), B Vunipola (Saracens)

Six Nations 2019 permutations explained: Can England or Ireland win it? Will bonus points come into play?

16 Mar

This season’s Six Nations is set for a thrilling conclusion today with three countries still in title contention.

Wales, England and Ireland can all win silverware with the former currently top of the table with four wins from four.

Wales take on Ireland this weekend while England face Scotland and there are a host of possible ways to where the trophy will end up.

Wales are in pole position in the Six Nations

What are the permutations?

  • Wales will win the Six Nations title and clinch a first Grand Slam for seven years if they beat Ireland in Cardiff.
  • If Wales and England finish level on 20 points, which is quite possible, then Wales will still be crowned champions as Grand Slam winners are automatically awarded three bonus points under Six Nations rules.
  • A draw between Wales and Ireland – and England losing to Scotland at Twickenham – would see Wales win the title without a Grand Slam.
  • A draw between Wales and Ireland – and England beating Scotland – would see England crowned champions.
  • If Ireland beat Wales and England defeat Scotland, then England will be champions.
  • If Ireland beat Wales and England fail to beat Scotland, then Ireland will be champions.
  • If Ireland beat Wales and gain a bonus point and England beat Scotland but don’t gain a bonus point, then England will be champions due to their superior points difference barring an unlikely 65-point swing in Ireland’s favour.

What about the bonus points system?

A bonus point is awarded in the Six Nations if you score four or more tries or if you lose within seven points.

England have been at their attacking best at times in this tournament claiming three bonus points in their matches so far.

But Wales have had to make do with collecting just the four points per win and are yet to get any extras.

England take on Scotland in the final weekend of the Six Nations

Yet, if Warren Gatland’s side go onto win all five matches, they are automatically awarded three bonus points for achieving the Grand Slam.

This would ensure they lift the Six Nations title, even if England get maximum points in their final fixture.

England can only get 20 points at most in tournament, while Wales will get a minimum 23 points if they remain undefeated.

What are the remaining Six Nations fixtures?

Saturday, March 16

Italy v France: 12:30pm, Stadio Olimpico

Wales v Ireland: 2:45pm, Millennium Stadium

England v Scotland: 5pm, Twickenham

Ireland can still win the Six Nations

Italy 14-25 France: French side end on a high with victory in tight game at Stadio Olimpico as Italy end Six Nations winless

16 Mar

France won their final match of the Six Nations after scoring three tries in their win against Italy.

Italy ended this year’s tournament without a win after the 25-14 defeat at the Stadio Olimpico.

Antoine Dupont was one of France’s try scorers

Italy took an early three point lead after France conceded a penalty in front of the posts, which was Tommaso Allan.

Allan slotted another penalty over to put his side 6-0 up in the 12th minute of the match when the visitors conceded another penalty.

Italy’s solid start was completely undone when France scored a try out of nowhere.

Tommaso Allan scores with a kick for Italy

Antoine Dupont beat the last man to score a simple try and Romain Ntamack converted to make it 7-6 to the away side.

The France fly-half held his nerve to score a penalty to extend that lead to 10-6, which is how it stayed until the half-time break.

Allan reduced the deficit to just a point for Italy early in the second half before Yoann Huget scored France’s second try of the afternoon to make it 17-9.

Damian Penaud runs away from the Italy defence

Italy got a try they deserved 55 minutes into the match when Tito Tebaldi bulldozed his way over the try line.

Allan missed the conversion to leave the Italians trailing 17-14 with 25 minutes to go.

Ntamack scored a drop goal in the 63rd minute to increase the gap to six points meaning the home side would need a try to get back into the game.

Damian Penaud sealed the win late on with France’s third try of the match.

Six Nations 2019 permutations explained: Can England or Ireland win it? Will bonus points come into play?

15 Mar

This season’s Six Nations is set for a thrilling conclusion today with three countries still in title contention.

Wales, England and Ireland can all win silverware with the former currently top of the table with four wins from four.

Wales take on Ireland this weekend while England face Scotland and there are a host of possible ways to where the trophy will end up.

Wales are in pole position in the Six Nations

What are the permutations?

  • Wales will win the Six Nations title and clinch a first Grand Slam for seven years if they beat Ireland in Cardiff.
  • If Wales and England finish level on 20 points, which is quite possible, then Wales will still be crowned champions as Grand Slam winners are automatically awarded three bonus points under Six Nations rules.
  • A draw between Wales and Ireland – and England losing to Scotland at Twickenham – would see Wales win the title without a Grand Slam.
  • A draw between Wales and Ireland – and England beating Scotland – would see England crowned champions.
  • If Ireland beat Wales and England defeat Scotland, then England will be champions.
  • If Ireland beat Wales and England fail to beat Scotland, then Ireland will be champions.
  • If Ireland beat Wales and gain a bonus point and England beat Scotland but don’t gain a bonus point, then England will be champions due to their superior points difference barring an unlikely 65-point swing in Ireland’s favour.

What about the bonus points system?

A bonus point is awarded in the Six Nations if you score four or more tries or if you lose within seven points.

England have been at their attacking best at times in this tournament claiming three bonus points in their matches so far.

But Wales have had to make do with collecting just the four points per win and are yet to get any extras.

England take on Scotland in the final weekend of the Six Nations

Yet, if Warren Gatland’s side go onto win all five matches, they are automatically awarded three bonus points for achieving the Grand Slam.

This would ensure they lift the Six Nations title, even if England get maximum points in their final fixture.

England can only get 20 points at most in tournament, while Wales will get a minimum 23 points if they remain undefeated.

What are the remaining Six Nations fixtures?

Saturday, March 16

Italy v France: 12:30pm, Stadio Olimpico

Wales v Ireland: 2:45pm, Millennium Stadium

England v Scotland: 5pm, Twickenham

Ireland can still win the Six Nations