England v Italy
England will aim to claim a second win of the Championship in successive weeks Getty Images

England take on Italy in the opening game of the second weekend of the 2015 Six Nations at Twickenham.

Where to watch

Kick-off is at 2.30pm (GMT) on Saturday 14 February and is live on BBC1 and BBC1 HD, with live commentary available at BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra and online.


Though it may be Valentine's Day, there will be no love lost at the start of the the second weekend of the Six Nations championship, as England and Italy face-off at Twickenham.

Stuart Lancaster's side are riding on a crest of a wave after disposing of Wales in their opening match and they name an unchanged side for the visit of the wooden-spoon favourites Italy, who are both injury-ravaged and reeling from their second thumping by Ireland.

The Azzuri have only won one away match in Six Nations history while they have lost all 20 of their previous meetings with England, though they do have edge in the experienced department with their starting XV, which shows four changes from the Ireland loss, possessing double the amount of international appearances.

Despite having an injury-hit playing squad, England have the luxury of being able to name an unaltered squad from the win in Cardiff, while Geoff Parling, Tom Wood and Kyle Eastmond are among those waiting in the wings for a recall for the remaining matches.

The hosts, looking for a fourth straight test win, are 1/100 to beat the Italians and though those odds might represent the sad, uncompetitive reality of the tournament, it is also an indication as to the expectation surrounding Lancaster's men.


England: 15. Mike Brown, 14: Anthony Watson, 13. Jonathan Joseph, 12. Luther Burrell, 11. Jonny May, 10. George Ford, 9. Ben Youngs; 1. Joe Marler, 2. Dylan Hartley, 3. Dan Cole, 4. Dave Attwood, 5. George Kruis, 6. James Haskell, 7. Chris Robshaw, 8. Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: 16. Tom Youngs, 17. Mako Vunipola 18. Kieran Brookes, 19. Tom Croft, 20. Nick Easter, 21. Richard Wigglesworth, 22. Danny Cipriani, 23. Billy Twelvetrees.

Italy: 15. Luke McLean, 14. Leonardo Sarto, 13. Luca Morisi, 12. Andrea Masi, 11. Giovanbattista Venditti, 10. Kelly Haimona, Edoardo Gori; 1. Alberto de Marchi, 2. Leonardo Ghiraldini, 3. Martin Castrogiovanni, 4. George Fabio Biagi, 5. Marco Bortolami, 6. Maruo Bergamasco, 7. Francesco Minto, 8. Sergio Pariss.

Replacements: 16. Andrea Manici, 17. Matias Aguero, 18. Dario Chistolini, 19. Joshua Furno, 20. Samuela Vunisa, 21. Guglielmo Palazzani, 22. Tommaso Allan, 23. Giulio Bisegni.

What the coaches say

Stuart Lancaster: "Every week is a different coaching challenge, what happens last week and what happens in the next week is irrelevant. Whoever is the best team on the day wins, so we've prepared the players as best we can.

"We've been very mindful of getting our feet back on the ground. But you also create an environment in a team where young players come in, they're valued, their voice gets heard, they can contribute to the team. Then, ultimately, they can shine on the stage when they get the opportunity.

"Even this week we might have 350-odd caps in our team and the Italians are extremely experienced, 750 caps in their starting team, so we will be significantly outnumbered in terms of international experience.

Jacques Brunel: "We have worked very hard so far this week to keep the same level of intensity in defence and to improve our game by keeping possession more often. We felt frustrated after the Ireland game because, as things stand, we cannot know if we would have been able to put the Irish team under pressure if we had kept possession for longer.

"We managed to maintain possession of the ball too briefly and we wasted a lot of balls, putting our defence under massive pressure. Now England await us; a team that likes to play a different game plan compared to Ireland, but it always a tough challenge for us."