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Saxons seal Sixways success

England Saxons made short work of Italy's second string as they ran in seven tries for an emphatic 45-17 success at Sixways.

The Saxons held too many aces among their forwards - prop Alex Corbisiero and lock Graham Kitchener delivering outstanding displays - while Leicester centre Billy Twelvetrees expertly marshalled a free-scoring back division.

Wings James Simpson-Daniel (two) and Ugo Monye, full-back Mike Brown, centre Manu Tuilagi, substitute scrum-half Paul Hodgson and flanker James Gaskell all breached Italy's defence.

Fly-half Stephen Myler added five conversions, while the visitors mustered late touchdowns from Paulo Buso and Giulio Toniolatti, plus a penalty and two conversions from Myler's opposite number Riccardo Bocchino.

The Saxons were never threatened, and Tuilagi provided further evidence that he is a midfield star-in-waiting for senior England boss Martin Johnson by repeatedly testing Italy's defence throughout a one-sided contest.

The 19-year-old, who qualifies for England on residency, has recovered from the turmoil of a Home Office ruling last summer that he was not allowed to stay in the UK.

It emerged that Tuilagi had originally entered the country on a six-month holiday visa when his family relocated to Leicester six years ago, but he was then granted indefinite leave to stay following backing from local MPs.

And Johnson could soon start reaping the benefits, with a place in England's World Cup squad later this year possibly not beyond Tuilagi if he continues to perform so destructively on a consistent basis.

Harlequins flanker Chris Robshaw captained a Saxons side containing seven senior internationals - including the entire back three of Brown, Simpson-Daniel and Monye - while Lee Mears and Luke Narraway were among those who featured up front.

And there was no shortage of experience in the Italian team either, with former Gloucester lock Marco Bortolami and number eight Josh Sole boasting 130 Test caps between them.


From Belfast Telegraph