Six Nations 2016 betting odds: England Rugby hoping to hammer Italy – but Rome wasn’t built in a day

 
Graham Reid
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Eddie Jones started his tenure as England coach with a win over Scotland last weekend (Source: Getty)

England head to the Italian capital on Sunday looking to take a second step towards World Cup redemption.

Their victory against Scotland last week under new coach Eddie Jones was a case of evolution rather than revolution.

Getting the win at Murrayfield was paramount, and Jones made sure of it by only making minor personnel changes in his first game.

This weekend should provide more of a chance to experiment.

The Red Rose have never lost to Italy in 21 meetings, and I don’t expect that to change this time out.

It’ll be an away win, so the question is by how many?

England’s head coach has said he expects his side to give Italy "a good hiding", but I’m not so sure.

Apart from one 52-11 landslide in 2014, England tend to labour to victory in Rome.

In their three previous meetings they only managed narrow wins, by four points in 2012 and 2008 and by five in 2010.

Add into the mix the possible inclusion of rookies such as flanker Jack Clifford and this remains an uncertain England outfit.

Italy played some decent rugby against an uncompromising, albeit unconvincing, French side last weekend. However, old habits came back to haunt them and they couldn’t see out the victory.

It could be the same script on Sunday. The last 20 minutes should determine the extent of England’s victory. I see Italy remaining spirited but ultimately falling to the English sword.

Even putting the forecast rain aside, I’d sell Sporting Index’s generous spread of 16-19 points on England supremacy.

Open heavens, coupled with Jones’s admiration for the traditional English pack, could keep free-flowing back play to a minimum.

Italy conceded 13 penalties against France, so in the poor weather England will look to take advantage of poor discipline.

That makes Betway’s 6/4 for the first scoring play to be an England penalty kick a good wager.

Pointers

England penalty first score 6/4 (Betway)

Sell England supremacy 16 (Sporting Index)

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