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The Italian Job

There was no love lost between all our 6 Nations teams this weekend was there?  A bit of an arm wrestle as they say in Paris with the French still not firing and a cracking game in Wales which Scotland showed they are close to chasing some big scalps.   Italy didn't seem in the mood to send flowers to England out in Rome and I found that first half tense to say the least.  It always on paper seems an easy match but lets not forget Italy have actually beaten all of the other teams in the 6 Nations apart from England so if England were a bit sloppy or complacent they could have helped the Azurri get the full house.

Lots of good points still about the game with the forwards doing their job and grinding Italy down over that first half.  Our pack has got some more bite and given it is still very young in international terms I am actually feeling very upbeat about where we are and how good we can become.  My view is Eddie Jones has been ruthless about selection in the way he only wants players who have the potential to be world class in his squad. 

In past times England have used good solid club players because they were seen as second best in their position but Eddie just goes straight to the number 3 or 4 on the list if he thinks they are potentially the better athlete or player.  That's way we are seeing young prop Paul Hill in the squad and Luke Cowan Dickie plus that phenomenon Maro Itoje.  Nice one Eddie!

As a big old prop forward I never used to look too much at what the boys in the backline were doing with all the ball we won for them.  Now watching the game as a fan or pundit I see some real talent out there.  England certainly turned it on in that second half and it was an absolute delight to see that classy centre Jonathan Joseph bag a hat trick.  So job done and England have their 'easiest' two games out of the way.  The Grand Slam is still on and England fans are dreaming big whilst Ireland lay in wait and I am sure plotting how to spoil the England party.

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