Six Nations 2020: Youngs to seal century of England caps in Rome

By Sports Desk October 29, 2020

Ben Youngs will win his 100th cap for England in their long-delayed Six Nations clash with Italy on Saturday.

The 31-year-old Leicester Tigers scrum-half will become just the second England player to tot up a century of appearances, after Jason Leonard, who won 114 caps from 1990 to 2004.

England's starting XV for the match at Rome's Stadio Olimpico shows seven changes to the side that beat Wales 33-30 in March, before the championship was suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Most are forced on coach Eddie Jones by injury, with Elliot Daly, Manu Tuilagi, George Ford, Joe Marler, Courtney Lawes and Mark Wilson all sidelined, while George Kruis misses out as he heads to Japan to continue his career.

Hooker Jamie George wins a 50th cap, and he and Youngs will lead out the team, which will be captained by Owen Farrell.

Into the side comes full-back George Furbank, with Jonathan Joseph and Henry Slade lining up at centre as Farrell moves to fly-half, while Billy Vunipola and Mako Vunipola feature in the pack along with George and the uncapped Exeter Chiefs lock Jonny Hill.

Jones, whose side will be chasing a bonus-point win that would keep them in title contention ahead of Ireland's clash with France later in the day, said: "We've trained with good intensity this week and the squad are excited by the challenge of performing at our best against Italy.

"The team have prepared well and are looking forward to putting on an England shirt and showing what they can do.

"We will also celebrate two major achievements in Ben Youngs' and Jamie George's cap milestones.  It's testimony to their skill, hard work and love of playing for England, and there is more to come from both of them."

 

England: George Furbank, Anthony Watson, Jonathan Joseph, Henry Slade, Jonny May, Owen Farrell, Ben Youngs; Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, Jonny Hill, Tom Curry, Sam Underhill, Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: Tom Dunn, Ellis Genge, Will Stuart, Charlie Ewels, Ben Earl, Dan Robson, Ollie Lawrence, Ollie Thorley.

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