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Rugby News

Tigers quartet to kick off the Six Nations in Rome

George Ford and Ben Youngs team up at half-back for England
George Ford and Ben Youngs team up at half-back for England

England head coach Eddie Jones has included four Leicester Tigers players in the starting line-up for the opening game of the Nat West 6 Nations this weekend.

Dan Cole, Ben Youngs, George Ford and Jonny May are all named in the team to play Italy in Rome on Sunday (3.00pm UK time).

Youngs starts his 56th Test match, overtaking Matt Dawson’s record of most starts for an England half-back. Danny Care will equal Dawson for most caps as scrum-half (77) if he is used off the bench.

Ben Te’o partners Owen Farrell in the centres after nearly a year’s absence from the England side, while Sam Simmonds starts at No8 for his fourth cap and clubmate Alec Hepburn could make his England debut having been named as a replacement.
Head coach Eddie Jones said: “Our preparation over the last two weeks has been excellent and the players feel refreshed. We want to start the tournament well. We know we need to get our set-piece right, be defensively strong and play with aggression and plenty of energy.”  

England (v Italy)
15 Mike Brown (Harlequins 64 caps)
14 Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby 28 caps)
13 Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors 8 caps)
12 Owen Farrell (Saracens 53 caps)
11 Jonny May (Leicester Tigers 29 caps)
10 George Ford (Leicester Tigers 40 caps)
9 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers 73 caps)
1 Mako Vunipola (Saracens 44 caps)
2 Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints 89 caps)
3 Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers 77 caps)
4 Joe Launchbury (Wasps 47 caps)
5 Maro Itoje (Saracens 14 caps)
6 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints 61 caps)
7 Chris Robshaw (Harlequins 59 caps)
8 Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs 3 caps)
16 Jamie George (Saracens 20 caps)
17 Alec Hepburn (Exeter Chiefs uncapped)
18 Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs 5 caps)
19 George Kruis (Saracens 21 caps)
20 Sam Underhill (Bath Rugby 3 caps)
21 Danny Care (Harlequins 76 caps)
22 Jonathan Joseph (Bath Rugby 35 caps)
23 Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs 23 caps)