As the Six Nations 2024 kicks off, England embarks on their campaign with an away fixture against Italy. Steve Borthwick, in his second campaign as head coach, faces the challenge of making a significant impact after a limited preparation period following his appointment last year. The backdrop of England’s underwhelming performance in the previous Six Nations and a subsequent remarkable run to the World Cup semi-finals creates an air of anticipation, albeit tinged with concerns due to an ongoing injury crisis.
England’s Journey Under Borthwick
England’s journey under Steve Borthwick has been a rollercoaster, with the team failing to meet expectations in the last Six Nations. The subsequent summer proved to be a challenging period, prompting questions about Borthwick’s tenure. However, a surprising World Cup run in France injected fresh optimism into the team and its supporters. Despite this, England faces a daunting task, navigating through an injury crisis and missing key players such as Owen Farrell, Courtney Lawes, Jonny May, Mako Vunipola, and record caps holder Ben Youngs, who have all retired from international duty post the World Cup.
Italy’s Challenge and Ambitions
Italy, on the other hand, is gearing up for a tough campaign, having faced significant challenges in the previous Six Nations and a difficult World Cup pool. The Azzurri, winless in the last outing, were humbled by hosts France and New Zealand, conceding a staggering 96 points against the latter. The upcoming clash against England is a critical test for head coach Gonzalo Quesada, who will be overseeing his first senior national side match at Stadio Olimpico.
Italy vs England Six Nations 2024 Preview: Match Details
Date: Saturday, 3 February
Location: Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Kick-off: 14:15 GMT
Italy vs England Previous Encounters and Statistics
The history between these two teams reflects England’s dominance, having won all 30 men’s Test matches against Italy, including 24 in the Six Nations. The Azzurri faced a scoreless defeat (33-0) in the last Six Nations encounter in 2022. Italy has won half of their last eight home matches, with the last two victories coming against Romania and Japan. However, they enter this match after suffering two 50+ point defeats in the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
Italy vs England Six Nations 2024 Squads
Forwards: Pietro Ceccarelli, Danilo Fischetti, Matteo Nocera, Luca Rizzoli, Mirco Spagnolo, Giosuè Zilocchi, Gianmarco Lucchesi, Marco Manfredi, Giacomo Nicotera, Niccolò Cannone, Edoardo Iachizzi, Federico Ruzza, Andrea Zambonin, Lorenzo Cannone, Riccardo Favretto, Alessandro Izekor, Michele Lamaro, Sebastian Negri, Ross Vintcent, Manuel Zuliani
Backs: Alessandro Garbisi, Martin Page-Relo, Stephen Varney, Tommaso Allan, Paolo Garbisi, Juan Ignacio Brex, Tommaso Menoncello, Federico Mori, Marco Zanon, Pierre Bruno, Ange Capuozzo, Monty Ioane, Simone Gesi, Lorenzo Pani
Read More: England Squad for Six Nations 2024
Forwards: Jamie Blamire, Ollie Chessum, Dan Cole, Alex Coles, Chandler Cunningham-South, Ben Curry, Theo Dan, Alex Dombrandt, Ben Earl, Ellis Genge, Jamie George (Captain), Joe Heyes, Nick Isiekwe, Maro Itoje, Joe Marler, Beno Obano, Tom Pearson, Ethan Roots, Will Stuart, Sam Underhill
Backs: Danny Care, Tommy Freeman, George Ford, Elliot Daly, Alex Mitchell, George Furbank, Tom Roebuck, Fin Smith, Marcus Smith, Freddie Steward, Ben Spencer, Henry Slade, Will Muir, Fraser Dingwall, Max Ojomoh, Immanuel Feyi-Waboso
Suggested Read: Watch Six Nations Rugby 2024 Outside UK for Free
Summing it Up!
As the anticipation builds for the Italy vs England Six Nations 2024 Preview clash, both teams find themselves at crucial junctures – one seeking redemption and the other aiming to break the shackles of the wooden spoon. With key players missing and a fresh coaching perspective for Italy, the dynamics of this encounter promise intrigue. The outcome will undoubtedly reverberate through the Six Nations tournament, setting the tone for England’s campaign under Steve Borthwick and providing insight into Italy’s evolving rugby landscape. Rugby enthusiasts are in for a captivating weekend as Stadio Olimpico prepares to witness the opening chapter of this Six Nations saga.