What are the teams for England v Italy?

Owen Farrell Scotland 2023
England host Italy in the final game of Round 2 with the visitors hoping to secure a first-ever win at Twickenham.

England host Italy in the final game of Round 2 with the visitors hoping to secure a first-ever win at Twickenham.

Since joining the Six Nations family in 2000, the Azzurri have conquered every team except for Sunday’s opponents.

Buoyed by a positive performance against France, they will be optimistic of landing an historic win over England, having come up short in each of the previous 29 fixtures between the two to date.

Steve Borthwick has rung changes for his second match in charge, most notably the selection of Owen Farrell at fly-half as Marcus Smith drops to the replacements bench.

Meanwhile, Italy boss Kieran Crowley has made two changes to his team, with Edoardo Padovani and Marco Riccioni recalled to the starting XV.


Owen Farrell starts at fly-half for England for the first time in two years as Marcus Smith drops to the replacements bench.

With Farrell making the shift from inside centre to out-half, there is a return for Ollie Lawrence, who will make his fourth England start.

Lawrence is partnered in the midfield with Henry Slade as the pair join forces for just the third time in Tests, while there is no place for Joe Marchant in the matchday 23.

The third and final change to the starting XV comes in the forwards, with Jack Willis replacing Ben Curry at openside flanker.

There is further movement on the replacements bench, with Alex Mitchell set to win just his second cap at scrum-half and Henry Arundell returning to the squad having recovered from a foot injury.

That leaves the back three unchanged, with Freddie Steward between Max Malins and Ollie Hassell-Collins.

Farrell, Lawrence and Slade all start together for just the second time, the only other occasion a defeat against Scotland in Round 1 of the 2021 Guinness Six Nations, while Jack van Poortvliet continues at scrum-half.

Willis joins Alex Dombrandt and Lewis Ludlam in the back row while the front five are unchanged with Maro Itoje and Ollie Chessum in the engine room, and Ellis Genge, Jamie George and Kyle Sinckler completing the side.

England team to play Italy: 15. Freddie Steward, 14. Max Malins, Henry Slade, 12. Ollie Lawrence, 11. Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10. Owen Farrell, 9. Jack van Poortvliet, 1. Ellis Genge, 2. Jamie George, 3. Kyle Sinckler, 4. Maro Itoje, 5. Ollie Chessum, 6. Lewis Ludlam, 7. Jack Willis, 8. Alex Dombrandt

Replacements: 16. Jack Walker, 17. Mako Vunipola, 18. Dan Cole, 19. Nick Isiekwe, 20. Ben Earl, 21. Alex Mitchell, 22. Marcus Smith, 23. Henry Arundell


Edoardo Padovani starts his first Guinness Six Nations fixture since scoring one of the great Championship tries in the final round of last year’s Championship.

Wing Padovani was on hand to provide crucial inside support after a magical Ange Capuozzo break, scoring under the posts at Principality Stadium to set up the simplest of conversions for Paolo Garbisi.

He was a late replacement against France but returns to the starting team this weekend, as does Saracens prop Marco Riccioni.

Tighthead Riccioni, who missed the Championship opener through injury, will make his first Test start since November 2021, with Simone Ferrari dropping out.

And Gloucester flanker Jake Polledri is in line to make his first international appearance since November 2020 from the replacements bench, having missed the entirety of the 2021/22 season through injury.

Riccioni is joined in the front row by Giacomo Nicotera and Danilo Fischetti, while Niccolo Cannone and Federico Ruzza, who were so impressive against Les Bleus, continue in the second row.

An unchanged back row sees Sebastian Negri and Lorenzo Cannone linking up with captain Michele Lamaro.

Stephen Varney starts at scrum-half alongside Tommaso Allan, who continues at out-half in the absence of Paolo Garbisi.

Luca Morisi and Juan Ignacio Brex form the centre pairing, while Padovani and young guns Tommaso Menoncello and Ange Capuozzo make up the back three.

Italy team to play England: 15. Ange Capuozzo, 14. Edoardo Padovani, 13. Juan Ignacio Brex, 12. Luca Morisi, 11 Tommaso Menoncello, 10. Tommaso Allan, 9. Stephen Varney, 8 Lorenzo Cannone, 7. Michele Lamaro (c), 6. Sebastian Negri, 5. Federico Ruzza, 4. Niccolò Cannone, 3. Marco Riccioni, 2. Giacomo Nicotera, 1 Danilo Fischetti

Replacements: 16. Luca Bigi, 17. Federico Zani, 18. Simone Ferrari, 19. Edoardo Iachizzi, 20. Jake Polledri, 21. Manuel Zuliani, 22. Alessandro Fusco, 23, Pierre Bruno