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England roar but sweat on Youngs injury

Italy 15-46 England

By Duncan Bech

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 Six Nations victory over Italy at the Stadio Olimpico.

The 28-year-old cried out in pain after his knee buckled awkwardly during a tackle, 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, and Jones was delighted by their contributions.

"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."

"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."

Two early tries from Anthony Watson set Eddie Jones' men on their way, Owen Farrell adding another after Tommaso Benvenuti's inspired try had narrowed the gap.

Mattia Bellini's score in the corner midway through the second half meant Italy had fought back to within 12 points with 20 minutes to go.

But a brace from Six Nations debutant Sam Simmonds plus sweetly worked tries from George Ford and Jack Nowell allowed the reigning champions to pull away.

Belfast Telegraph

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