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Simmonds can make Six Nations impact - Borthwick

Simmonds can make Six Nations impact - Borthwick

Eddie Jones described his side's NatWest 6 Nations opener as a "positive start" as they opened their campaign with a 46-15 bonus-point victory over Italy. Farrell converted a penalty for England, before debutant Simmonds scored to extend the lead on 58 minutes.

The former Australian and Japan coach, bidding for a 23rd win in 24 Tests as England boss, added: "That's how we want to play against Italy - a really physical game and set the tone for the tournament".

"Ben will add a different dimension at 13 for us", Jones told reporters after announcing his side on Friday. For a big man he's got footwork - so hit the line hard.

Following a good counterattack, Tommaso Boni was brought down on the left, near the five-meter line, but Italy managed to recycle the ball and a delightful looping long pass from Allan sucked in Jonny May and sent Benvenuti clear to score in the right corner. Eddie's bullish approach has give us that ruthless streak.

More recently, the Azzurri, under the guidance of their Irish coach Conor O'Shea, embarrassed England with their no-ruck ploy at Twickenham past year before losing 36-15.

Winger Jack Nowell is on the bench after an ankle injury, alongside uncapped prop Alec Hepburn.

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Simmonds may not have been Eddie Jones' first choice at number eight but with Billy Vunipola and Nathan Hughes out injured, the Exeter forward made the very most of his chance.

Jones dropped Robshaw as captain but picked him in his first team, at blindside flanker, and has come to increasingly rely on a player whose unassuming qualities are best appreciated inside the England camp. "I'm energised because I know we're making progress".

Italy haven't won a Six Nations match since a 22-19 success away to Scotland in 2015. We knew they'd hang in there and they played exceptionally well.

For all their inexperience, Italy were generating plenty of possession and at times they attacked at pace.

"A year ago, 12 minutes from the end England were winning 17-15 - we'll see how it goes this time", said O'Shea.

The visitors were ahead in Rome after just three minutes through an impressive Anthony Watson try and he scored again on the 10 minute mark to give England a 10-0 advantage.


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