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Six Nations 2024: Ethan Roots and Fraser Dingwall will make their England debut against Italy

Six Nations 2024: Ethan Roots and Fraser Dingwall will make their England debut against Italy

Image source, Getty Images

Comment on the photo, Exeter's Ethan Roots (left) and Northampton's Fraser Dingwall (right) will both win their first caps in England's Six Nations opener with Italy

Guinness Six Nations: Italy vs England

place: Olympic Stadium, Rome date: Saturday 3 February Starting: 14:15 GMT

coverage: Listen on BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra; Live text and post-match highlights on the BBC Sport website and app; Watch live on ITV1

Ethan Roots and Fraser Dingwall will make their England debuts against Italy in Rome on Saturday in the opening weekend of the Six Nations.

Dingwall, 24, has been named at inside center alongside the returning Henry Slade and Roots will start at blindside.

George Ford starts at fly-half with Marcus Smith ruled out for at least two matches with a calf injury.

Uncapped trio Chandler Cunningham-South, Finn Smith and Emmanuel Faye-Wabuso have been named to the bench.

“Marcus will return to England for further investigations later this week. He will not be available next week,” coach Steve Borthwick said.

“We're not sure exactly when [he’ll be fit]. Hopefully he will play in the latter part of the Six Nations, but it will take several weeks. “We'll know more next week.”

However, Alex Mitchell recovered from a leg injury to take his place at half-half, and fellow Northampton St Tommy Freeman was rewarded for his impressive form with a starting position on the wing.

Speaking about the inclusion of five uncapped players in Round 23, Borthwick added: “Winning your country's first cap is always a very special occasion.

“We are delighted with the new players who have all worked incredibly hard to be selected in Group 23 to face Italy. I know Saturday will be a hugely proud moment for the players and their families.

“My message to them this week is to be themselves, seize their opportunities, and play with the strengths and skills that deserved their selection in a strong Six Nations team.”

Gonzalo Quesada, the Azzurri's new coach, has named his first team since replacing Kieran Crawley.

Luke Federico Rosa is set to win his 50th cap, while the Garbisi brothers – fly-half Paolo and scrum-half Alessandro – make their first start together in a Test match.

Flanker Michel Lamaro is the only captain to retain the role from last year's Six Nations while Tommaso Minoncello returns to the side at inside position after missing the World Cup through injury.

The hosts were forced to make some late changes. Winger Ange Capuzzo is sick, so Lorenzo Bani comes on from the bench, and substitute Edoardo Iacizzi is out with a shoulder injury, so Alessandro Ezicor, who has not played before, is called up.

Italy won the Wooden Spoon last year and have never beaten England, but former Argentine midfielder Quesada says his players have adapted quickly to the introduction of his “new methodologies”.

The new faces of England's new era

It is a clear sign of a new era.

Courtney Laws, Mako Vunipola, Ben Youngs and Jonny May have retired from international duty, while several players plying their trade overseas are ineligible for selection, and former captain Owen Farrell is taking a break from Test rugby and will move to France at the end of the year. the chapter.

There is still plenty of experience in the form of George, vice-captain Ford, veteran player Joe Marler, Luke-Maro Itoje and winger Elliot Daly.

But they are backed by a mix of young talent. Dingwall has featured in 10 previous England camps and has finally earned a cap with Farrell and Manu Tuilagi out, while New Zealand-born 26-year-old Roots has forced his way into the team after a standout campaign with Exeter Chiefs.

Borthwick has selected players in good form and 21-year-old Finn Smith is building on his impressive career at Northampton with a place on the bench.

The talented Feyi-Waboso, 21, is also among the substitutes, along with the powerful ball-carrying 20-year-old Cunningham-South player.


Italy: now; Pani, Brix, Minoncello, Ioani; F Garbesi, Garbesi; Fischetti, Lucchesi, Ceccarelli, N Cannon, Rosa, Negri, Lamaro (captain), L Cannon.

Replacements: Nicotera, Spagnuolo, Zilucchi, Zambonen, Izcor, Zuliani, Varni, Mori.

England: steward; Freeman, Slade, Dingwall, Daly; Ford Mitchell. Marler, George (Captain), Stuart, Itoje, Chisum, Roots, Underhill, Earl.

Replacements: Dunn, Genji, Cole, Coles, Cunningham South, Kerr, F. Smith, V. Waboso

Readers team

On Monday we asked for England to start against Italy.

Smith (42.71%) edged out Ford (40.13%) for the No. 10 jersey. Captain George (92.91%) received the most votes to start, followed by Itoje (78.05%) and Freddie Steward (71.41%).

Readers Begin England XV: steward; Freeman, Slade, Dingwall, Vei-Waboso; Smith Mitchell. Genge, George (Captain), Stuart, Itoje, Chisum, B. Carey, Underhill, Earl.