6N: Exeter lock Hill to debut for England vs Italy

Exeter lock Jonny Hill will debut for England in its bid to win the Six Nations against Italy on Saturday.

England needs a bonus-point win in Rome, then hope its enough to edge Ireland or France who meet in Paris later.

Hill packs down alongside Maro Itoje in the second row after an influential season at the Chiefs, who completed the Europe-England club title double last weekend.

Apart from Hill’s debut and George Furbank deputizing at fullback for Elliot Daly, who has a shin injury, coach Eddie Jones largely stuck to his tried and tested XV on Thursday.

Scrumhalf Ben Youngs will become the second England player after Jason Leonard to reach 100 appearances, more than 10 years after his debut.

Billy Vunipola returns from injury for his first England appearance since the Rugby World Cup a year ago.

The reserves feature the uncapped trio Tom Dunn, Ollie Lawrence and Ollie Thorley.

Dunn is backup for hooker Jamie George, Lawrence is a powerful center with good feet, and Thorley operates as a tackle-busting wing.


England: George Furbank, Anthony Watson, Jonathan Joseph, Henry Slade, Jonny May, Owen Farrell (captain), Ben Youngs; Billy Vunipola, Sam Underill, Tom Curry, Jonny Hill, Maro Itoje, Kyle Sinckler, Jamie George, Mako Vunipola. Reserves: Tom Dunn, Ellis Genge, Will Stuart, Charlie Ewels, Ben Earl, Dan Robson, Ollie Lawrence, Ollie Thorley.

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