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Jones waits for news on Youngs injury

Scrum-half was carted off early in Six Nations win over Italy.

England will discover the extent of Ben Youngs’ knee injury on Monday but the Leicester scrum-half is expected be ruled out for at least one match.

Youngs suffered ligament damage nine minutes into a 46-15 NatWest 6 Nations victory over Italy at the Stadio Olimpico and had to be driven from the pitch on the medical cart.

The 28-year-old cried out in pain after his knee buckled awkwardly during a tackle, ending his afternoon and leaving him a major doubt for at least Saturday’s clash with Wales at Twickenham.

“Ben will have an examination tomorrow (Monday) so we’ll know more after that,” head coach Eddie Jones said.

“He’s unlikely to be available for the Wales game. It’s too early to make any sort of prediction, but I’m always optimistic.”

Number eight Sam Simmonds and wing Anthony Watson crossed twice each in a seven-try rout of Italy, whose endeavour was not reflected in the scoreline, and Jones was delighted by their contributions.

Italy v England – NatWest 6 Nations – Stadio Olimpico

“Sam’s a good young lad with a great set of skills. If he was a cricketer he’d be playing Twenty20. He’s a bit different – he’s fast and runs good lines,” Jones said.

“He’s a completely humble boy who just gets on with it. He’s fitted into the team well.

“He’s different to Billy Vunipola and Nathan Hughes and sometimes it takes sides a bit of time to adjust to that, but our adjustment was good. At the end of the game we played some lovely rugby.

“I was really pleased with the effort. Italy were always going to be difficult to play.

“Our scrum and line-out was absolutely first-class. I don’t think we’ve scrummed as well as that in the time I’ve been in charge of England.

“We were completely dominant and that’s English rugby. When the game broke up at the end we were able to score tries.

“Defensively we made a couple of errors and they were able to capitalise on them but they’re something we can work on and fix. It wasn’t the perfect game but very, very positive.”

It has been 1,072 days since Italy won a Six Nations match and coach Conor O’Shea had mixed feelings over their latest defeat.

Conor O’Shea saw his side beaten

“I’m proud and angry. Proud because we saw a team with a lot of potential for the future,” O’Shea said.

“But I’m annoyed because we caused them a lot of problems with the ball but the defeat is another statistic.

“It’s a step forward. We played against a great team. We had opportunities and it was a good game.

“It’s a long, hard road ahead for us and we will have to be more disciplined against Ireland.”

Italy captain Sergio Parisse finished the game with a rib injury and will undergo a scan.


From Belfast Telegraph