England start their Six Nations campaign with an away trip to face Italy in Rome but are without Marcus Smith because of a calf problem. However, Alex Mitchell has passed a late fitness test and starts at scrum-half against the Azzurri.
Head coach Steve Borthwick has also named three uncapped players on the bench in back-rower Chandler Cunningham-South, fly-half Fin Smith and wing Immanuel Feyi-Waboso.
Borthwick is hoping to lead England to their first Six Nations title since 2020 and will not be disappointed to start the tournament against a side to whom they have never lost.
When is Italy v England?
The match is on Saturday, February 3 and will kick off at 2.15pm UK time, which is 3.15pm in Rome.
Where is Italy v England?
England and Italy will face each other at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. The 70,000-seater stadium has served as home for the Italian national team since 2012.
How to watch Italy v England on TV
The match will be broadcast live on ITV1 and on Virgin Media in the Republic of Ireland.
Who is the referee?
Who is in the England team?
England have given debuts to centre Fraser Dingwall and flanker Ethan Roots. Head coach Steve Borthwick has also named three uncapped players on the bench in back-rower Chandler Cunningham-South, fly-half Fin Smith and wing Immanuel Feyi-Waboso.
Alex Mitchell has overcome an infected cut on his leg to form a half-back axis with George Ford, who is named as one of two vice-captains alongside Maro Itoje with Jamie George leading the team out at the Stadio Olimpico.
Ford has edged rookie Fin Smith for the No 10 jersey after Marcus Smith was ruled out of the round one clash because of a calf problem and he will direct a midfield partnership of Dingwall and Henry Slade.
Tommy Freeman wins his fourth cap and first since 2022 on the right wing as reward for an impressive season at Gallagher Premiership pace-setters Northampton, who also supply Dingwall and Mitchell to the starting back line.
Joe Marler and Will Stuart are the preferred props, keeping Ellis Genge and Dan Cole on the bench, while Itoje and Ollie Chessum are paired together in a familiar-looking lock duo.
Who is in the Italy team?
Italy have recalled Treviso hooker Gianmarco Lucchesi for his first Test since tearing ligaments in his left knee at the end of 2022.
Beside Lucchesi, the only other Italy starter who was not at the World Cup is centre Tommaso Menoncello who tore a bicep in a pre-World Cup game against Ireland. Four of the tight five reserves were also not at the World Cup, including uncapped Treviso prop Mirco Spagnolo.
After being shifted around during the World Cup between full-back and win, Ange Capuozzo has switched again to the wing to accommodate goalkicking sharpshooter Tommaso Allan at full-back.
Italy XV: Tommaso Allan, Ange Capuozzo, Juan Ignacio Brex, Tommaso Menoncello, Montanna Ioane, Paolo Garbisi, Alessandro Garbisi; Lorenzo Cannone, Michele Lamaro (captain), Sebastian Negri, Federico Ruzza, Niccolo Cannone, Pietro Ceccarelli, Gianmarco Lucchesi, Danilo Fischetti.
Replacements: Giacomo Nicotera, Mirco Spagnolo, Giosuè Zilocchi, Andrea Zambonin, Edoardo Iachizzi, Manuel Zuliani, Stephen Varney, Lorenzo Pani.
England and Italy squads
When did England last win the Six Nations?
England have not won the Six Nations since 2020, when aside from a loss to France in Paris they won all their matches. You have to go back to 2016 for the last time England won a Grand Slam.
What was the score last year?
England beat Italy 31-14 in last year’s Six Nations. Following an opening-round 29-23 loss to Scotland, the win at Twickenham represented the first of Steven Borthwick’s time in charge.
How to get tickets to Italy v England
You should consult the England and Italy union websites for information about tickets to matches. Availability will vary greatly depending on which fixture you are hoping to get tickets for.
What are the latest odds?
Odds correct on February 2