Thursday, February 09, 2012
England head to Rome this weekend to face a pumped up Italian side that still have a lot to prove in this Six Nations. In today's O2 Inside Line we catch up with some of the England players ahead of the game.
While Italy's loss to France last weekend looked fairly convincing on the scoreboard, it wasn't quite that way as the side now coached under Jacques Brunel showed plenty of promise.
It's a new regime, as with France, but Italy still have some familiar old faces that can give any side in the world a headache on their day. They've also recalled Marco Bortolami and Gonzalo Canale, adding to the experience in an already formiddable forward pack.
England on the other hand have left things exactly the same, with coach Stuart Lancaster naming an unchanged squad from the side that beat Scotland to win the Calcutta Cup last weekend.
"We have decided to leave the starting team the same to allow them more time to gel together and we are expecting our bench to come on and make an impact as they did last week," Lancaster said.
"Italy will be a very difficult challenge with nearly 700 caps in their starting line-up and it promises to be an outstanding occasion at the sold-out Stadio Olimpico."
On this week's O2 Inside Line Austin and Abi chat to Dylan Hartley and Phil Dowson, some of the players have a snowball fight, and Ben Youngs explains the difference between backs and forwards.
To get the inside scoop on the squad, as well as fun features, match analysis and up to the minute player interviews with presenters Austin Healey and Abi Griffiths, sign up for alerts and watch O2 Inside Line on RFU TV at O2InsideLine.com / #O2InsideLine